Target: President Adly Mansour
Goal: Demand the release of peaceful protestors from prison
Egypt’s proposed constitution promises to be less conservative and more progressive. But as the new charter promotes an expansion of personal freedoms and rights, it is perhaps becoming most popular for the amount of activists who are strongly against it.
According to Human Rights Watch, 500 to 600 peaceful protesters are arrested every week in association with the “No to the Constitution” campaign, which outlines specific breaches of human rights that the so-called revised constitution fails to address. “No to Military Trials for Civilians”, “No to the Army’s Loss of Prestige and Politicization”, and “No to the Continuation of the Interior Ministry’s Thuggery”, are just a few of the named points activists are protesting.
Today, at least seven peaceful activists are being detained in high security prisons awaiting trial for simply hanging posters, distributing flyers or holding banners promoting the “No to the Constitution” campaign. Detainees go on to face absurdly high imprisonment fines, unsanitary conditions in holding cells, and non-stop abuse. As many as thirty criminal detainees are said to occupy three-by-three meter underground cells where police officers often interrogate protesters on their political beliefs and wrongfully accuse them of being terrorists.
Egyptian citizens should be free to protest peacefully, for or against the new constitution, without fear of being arrested, abused, or having their human rights compromised. If Egyptians have the right to vote, they should also have the right to freedom of expression.
By signing this petition you’ll urge the current President, Adly Mansour, to release innocent, peaceful protestors and encourage him to uphold the right to free speech.
Dear President Adly Mansour,
The reported acts of tyranny by Egyptian police officers against peaceful protesters is disheartening and deplorable. In the midst of constitutional reform, many Egyptian citizens are poised for change and anticipate a new charter that is progressive, inclusive and revolutionary. Yet, it seems as though the Egyptian government isn’t ready to do away with its intimidating nature and propensity for accusation.
These peaceful protesters, many of whom are students, volunteers and activists, have done nothing wrong by hanging posters, distributing flyers and holding banners. Furthermore, your Interior Minister has also freely stated that police assume the protests will become violent, and detain as many citizens they can get their hands on because of that assumption. This is simply absurd.
By granting Egyptian citizens the right to vote you also uphold the common notion that they are free to publicly and peacefully protest for or against the constitution that is supposed to protect their human rights. They should not be held captive for expressing their beliefs, as a progressive society, which is what you seek to become, would never do.
I urge you to free these men and women from wrongful detainment and uphold your promise of a new Egypt.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Ahmad Hammoud via everystockphoto