Yara Sallam

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Yara Sallam – L4L letter

Egypt

L4L was informed that Ms. Yara Sallam was arrested in Cairo on 21 June 2014 following police interference in a peaceful protest against the “anti-protest law”. While Ms. Sallam reportedly was around the site of the protest, she did not participate in it. Still, she was arrested, together with over 20 activists. Since then, she has awaited trial in detention.

Yara Sallam is a prominent human rights lawyer in Egypt and the head of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a human rights organisation that strengthens and protects basic rights and freedoms in Egypt through research, advocacy and litigation support. In 2013, Ms. Sallam received the North African Shield Human Rights Defender Award for her work in Egypt.

Reports indicate that when she appeared in court a few days after her arrest, the trial was adjourned to 13 September 2014. Against the expectations of legal experts, Ms. Sallam was denied bail, and was subsequently moved to Qanater prison. Considering reports from human rights organisations of violence and abuse towards female prisoners in this prison, L4L is concerned about her physical and psychological well-being.

Reportedly, the trial was adjourned on 13 September 2014 in a private hearing that Ms. Sallam was not allowed to attend. This infringes upon her right to a fair trial. On 11 October, the trial was again adjourned to 16 October 2014. Next to that, observers have reported that the case suffers from a lack of evidence and inconsistencies in police reports relating to the charges filed against Ms. Sallam.

For these reasons, L4L has urged President Al-Sisi to release Yara Sallam unconditionally. We will continue to monitor this case closely.

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