Bärbel Kofler, Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Assistance, issued the following statement today (12 August) on the ongoing detention of the Egyptian human rights lawyer Mohammed el-Baqer:
I condemn the ongoing detention of Mohammed el-Baqer, which has lasted almost two years now. During my visit to Egypt in 2019, I was able to meet him in person and found him to be an impressive and committed lawyer who has been working peacefully and with great dedication for the rights of his compatriots. Lawyers must not be punished for their important work!
I call on the Egyptian authorities to improve his detention conditions. He should be given a bed, as well as periods out in the fresh air and access to personal belongings such as books or clothes. The treatment of Mr el-Baqer is symptomatic of the catastrophic conditions to which many political prisoners are subjected in Egyptian prisons.
In late July, the Egyptian human rights lawyer Mohammed el-Baqer spent his second birthday in a row in a high-security Egyptian prison. He was arrested in September 2019, immediately after defending his prominent client, the activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. The German Government has already raised Mohammed el-Baqer’s case with the Egyptian authorities several times and called for his release. The recent release of two activists and several journalists from detention was noted with approval by the German Government, which urges the Egyptian Government to resolutely continue along this path.