The International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute (IBAHRI) today called on the Egyptian government to investigate death threats received by Nasser Amin, Director General, Arab Center for the Independence of the Judiciary and the Legal Profession (ACIJLP), and Mr Hammad Wadi Sannd, ACIJLP researcher.
On 25 October 2008, the ACIJLP received an e-mail threatening to kill Nasser Amin if he did not stop ‘his role and the role of the Center towards the Darfur crisis, in addition to the role of the International Criminal Court on this crisis’. The e-mail was sent from a group calling itself ‘the Middle East Mujahedeen in Cairo’. It also contained threats to Hammad Wadi Sannd.
The IBAHRI believes that these threats are linked to the important work that the ACIJLP carries out to promote the International Criminal Court in the region and lobby for its intervention in Darfur.
Justice Richard Goldstone, IBAHRI Co-Chair, says, ‘We are deeply concerned about these threats and are urging the Egyptian government to guarantee the safety and security of Nasser Amin and Hammad Wadi Sannd. We have also requested the government to order a thorough and independent investigation into these threats in order to bring the perpetrators to justice and enable the ACIJLP to continue its valuable work safely.’ Such action would be in accordance with provisions in the UN Declaration on Human Rights Defenders adopted by the United Nations on 9 December 1998.
Article 1 states that ‘everyone has the right, individually and in association with others, to promote and to strive for the protection and realization of human rights and fundamental freedoms at the national and international levels.’ Article 12.2 provides that ‘the State shall take all necessary measures to ensure the protection by the competent authorities of everyone, individually and in association with others, against any violence, threats, retaliation, de facto or de jure adverse discrimination, pressure or any other arbitrary action as a consequence of his or her legitimate exercise of the rights referred to in the present Declaration.’
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