MECA complain to the OHCHR
LAW OFFICES OF
DR. AWAD, Chafik HANNA, Hanna Z.
LEGAL ADVISOR OF LEGAL ADVISOR
COPTIC FOUNDATION OF: M.E.C.A.
FOR HUMAN RIGHTS.
Special representative of the Secretary General for human rights defenders,
Complaint: from Middle East Christian Association (MECA) Based in Canada and Coptic foundation of human rights based in Switzerland, Zurich. (Copts-united)
Representatives by Hanna Z. Hanna and Awad Chafik, legal advisors of the two Associations.
Against: The Egyptian Government for the detention of two Coptic activists inside Egypt; Dr. Adel Fawzy Faltas, activist and working for the Cairo office of the Middle East Christian Association to establish a branch of (MECA)
Mr. Peter Ezzat, activist as photographer of both (MECA) and (Copts-united) Associations
Charges: insulting Islam, converting Muslims to Christianity and working with a foreign group, trouble of the public order
It may be redundant to set forth the human right violations that occur sporadically in Egypt as it is well known all over the world.
The arrest of the two H.R. activists has taken place on August 8, 2007. The arrest was made pursuant to a state emergency law that was proclaimed in Egypt on 6 October 1981 by Presidential Decree No. 560 of 1981 this law called State Security Act.
Pursuant to article 141 of the Criminal Procedure of Egypt, the prosecutor or the judge assigned to conduct the investigation might order the detention of the arrested for 15 days, if the detention would be in the interest of justice. Meaning that the detainee would not have the chance to influence any body or to conceal documents or materials that could be in the interest of justice, or it could lead to disclose the facts.
However the arrest was simultaneous with the search of the defendants' apartments. The way of search revealed a kind of vengeance rather an act intended to obtain some evidence, if any.
The prosecutor of the Supreme State Security has conducted the investigation with the two detainees. Mohamed El Faisal, Esq., the Chief Prosecutor of the Supreme State Security, has conducted the investigation with Dr. Adel Faltas. Ziad El Homsy, Esq., the Prosecutor of the Supreme State Security, has conducted the investigation with Mr. Peter Mounir.
The investigation with the two accused has started the same day they were arrested on August 8, 2007, and an order for their detention of 15 days has been issued on the same day..
Although the investigation with Peter Mounir has been completed on August 18, his detention was ordered to be extended for additional 15 days. Please note that the extension of the period of detention is conditional to the safety of investigation. Here since the investigation with Mr. P. Mounir has been completed by August 18, the extension of his detention was extended as of August 21, 2007. This fact shows the violation of the law which discloses the main reason of such arrest and detention which is the religion as Coptic Christian.
The detention of Dr. Adel Faltas has been extended for 15 additional days as of August 21, 2007, and his investigation was completed on September 1, 2007.
Although the investigation of both detainees was completed, their detention for additional 15 days was warranted as of September 5, 2007. This latest decision was appealed on September 6, 2007 but the appeal was denied.
In order to contemplate how arbitrary the arrest and the detention are, the charges addressed to both detainees are as follows:
Dr. Adel Faltas
1- The possession of unlicensed fire weapon, and some bullets used for purposes other that permitted by the law. This act is penalized pursuant to Article 26 of the rules of weapons and ammunition, as amended.
2- Using the religion in transmitting distorted ideas intended to demean and to despise the Islamic Religion. Those acts are penalized pursuant to 98 W of the Egyptian Penal Code.
3- Transmitting, knowingly and intentionally false news intended to cause harm to the public interest. That act is penalized pursuant to article 102 ® of the Egyptian Penal Code.
4- Printing and publishing a Holly Book after intentionally mutilating its versions. That act is penalized pursuant to Article 2 of the Law 102 of 1985 related to organizing printing an publishing the Koran and the Prophet's speeches.
ARRESTED MATERIALS FROM DR. ADEL FALTAS:
1- 2 Lap Tops belong to Dr. Faltas.
2- 2 Cellular Phones belong to Dr. Faltas.
3- A contract intending to establish the organization of MIDDLE EAST
CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION in Egypt.
4- One Laser Printer and one Scanner.
5- A fire weapon with an expired license since December 31, 2005.
6- Some discs, and nobody could disclose what it contained.
ARRESTED MATERIALS FROM THE APARTMENT
OF DR. FALTAS' PARENTS AT 10 TH FLOOR.
3 issues of a book called, "THE PERSECUTED" and their covers. One book is in English and two in Arabic together with their covers.
ARRESTED MATERIALS, WHILE IN FACT THEY WERE INSERTED BY THE STATE SECURITY POLICE.
One book of the distorted versions of Koran called "KORAN RABSO".
ARRESTED MATERIALS FROM PETER MOUNIR.
1- One Panasonic Camera.
2- One mike (regular).
3- 5 wireless mikes.
4- One printer & scanner.
5- 2 Personal Cellular Phones.
6- 6 Video Tapes for the Camera.
7- One copy of the book, "The persecuted".
8- 42 Discs. Their contents are unknown.
9- 2 Hard discs. Their contents are unknown.
10- Some scrap papers.
The facts and the charges reveal that the authorities have fabricated those charges as follows:
1- As for Dr. Adel, the charge of holding an unlicensed weapon is amplified. Such charge is fictitious. It is well established by the Court of Cassation (The highest court in Egypt) that if a person does not timely renew the license of his weapon, he would be penalized by a fine of 10 to 50 Egyptian pounds. That means it is a minor violation that does not require arrest.
2- The second and third charges should not stand as well. The conditions of demeaning and despising the Islamic religion are not satisfied; there is no written or oral publicity which is an essential requirement for the crime to exist. Similarly, there was no recording to any oral statement; a fact that asserts the want of publicity, and accordingly, the crime does not exist.
3- As for the charges of distorting the Holly Book, there is no proof what so ever that the distorted verses belong to the two detainees. Those verses are published in a web site called, "we always love you again". It does not belong to the Middle East Christian Association in any way whose web site is "m-e-c-a.com"
4- All the printed materials were arrested from the apartment of Dr. Adel's parents, in violation of the search authorization. Rather, it is in violation of the Egyptian Constitution.
Please note that the Supreme State Security Prosecutor has denied the petition for the presence of any Human Right Representative during the investigation.
There is an assertion from the attorneys of the detainees that all the charges are fabricated against them,
Thus, it could be summed up that all the charges are fabricated against the detainees.
The two detainees are in fact Human Right Defenders. The cause for retaliation is that the Police of an area called "Omraneya" used to impose tribute on a Christian Laborer living in the area. The Laborer determined to refrain from such payment. In retaliation, the Police used the worst brutality a human being could imagine. They went to the apartment of the laborer on the fourth floor, and, in front of his children, wife and parents, they threw him from the balcony to the street. The victim was dropped dead.
Dr. Adel and Peter have stimulated the Human Right Activists over a chat room on the Paltalk and publicized the savage incident, and the brutality of the Egyptian Police. Further those two persons used to publicize all the violations that used to be perpetrated against the Christians in Egypt.
Now the investigation has been completed. In order to have the detention extended, the SSP has fabricated evidence which is fictitious in nature. They have copied what the Egyptian authorities have described as distorted version of a Holly Book meaning the Koran, and they submitted that distorted book before the Court, and thus they could warrant the extension of the detention for the third fifteen days.
To our surprise, the detention of the two victims has been extended for additional 15 days, a showing that it is a mere challenge and intentional disregard of the human rights.
Please Note that the State Security Police and Prosecutors are exceptional, and of emergency requirement. Those exceptional entities are lasting since 1981. Such exceptional and emergency security and tribunal measures are used to be a whip to those who dare to raise their voice against the system despite the fact that no emergency does exist.
Dr. Adel full name is: Adel Fawzy FALTAS. He is a sick person and must be under medical care all the time. In the prison he lacks such care; a fact that is extremely detrimental to his well being.
Peter's full name is: Peter Ezzat MOUNIR. He is a student at the School of engineering. The scholar year has started a few days ago. Nonetheless the authorities enjoy making him lose a whole year and probably more.
Further, please note that the State of Egypt authorizes publishing many books, articles, lectures, essays or Mosque sermons that severely and bitterly admonish and curse the Christians and Christianity without giving the Christians the chance to defend themselves or their religion.
It is quite clear that the main intent for such retaliatory actions is to intimidate all the Christians so that they may not open their mouths when they see any brutality or violations against the Egyptian people at large and specifically the Christians.
The rights of Adel and Peter violated are:
° to be informed of the reason for an arrest and of any charges (article 9(2);
° to be brought promptly before a judicial officer (article 9(3));
° to be submitted for trial within a reasonable time or to be released (article 9(3));
° to commence proceedings before a court to show the justification of an arrest or detention determined without delay, habeas corpus (article 9(4));
° to obtain compensation and damages when unlawful arrest or detention is established (article 9(5)).
And the violation of the rights stipulated in these articles as follows:
Articles 4, 17, 18, 19, 22, of the ICCPR, and articles: 5, 6,7,8, 9, 12, 17 of the Declaration on human rights defenders.
Egypt’s voluntary pledges to promote human rights
“Providing an objective and credible response to complaints, communications and requests received from international and regional human rights mechanisms and cooperating with them in the fulfillment of their mandates”.
“9- Remain committed to lifting the current state of emergency upon the completion and adoption of a new anti-terrorism legislation, the objective of which is to achieve the delicate balance between protecting the security of the society and the respect of human rights;
“15- Continue to encourage the efforts of civil society, NGO's and the media to contribute as partners towards the protection and promotion of human rights within the applicable national legislations.
From the above facts, it is clear that the State of Egypt drastically violates all Human Rights of their citizens.
WHEREFORE, it is respectfully requested that the United Nations take the prompt action to investigate, and ask the Egyptian Government to take all appropriate actions to release both victims.
Information about the persons submitting this complaint:
- Hanna Z. Hanna. My residence address is: ……U.S.A. I am an American Citizen. My country of origin is Egypt. My religion is Coptic Christian. Attorney admitted in the Bar of Egypt. I am acting as human rights activist, and legal advisor of MECA association.
AWAD Chafik, JD, My residence address is : …….Suisse. I am a Swiss Citizen. My country of origin is Egypt. Attorney admitted in the Bar of Egypt. I am a research fellow at Graduate Institute of International Studies, Geneva, (HEI), and legal advisor of Coptic foundation for human rights.