Writer and Human Rights Defender
Arrest: On 12 January 2012, security forces arrested Ahmed Douma from his friend’s house in Cairo. The next day, an investigative judge ordered his 30-day detention pending investigations on charges of “incitement to violence” and “assaulting police and armed forces” in relation to his participation in the Cabinet Offices sit-in and ensuing violence.
Violations: Torture and ill-treatment
- Arrest: On 12 January 2012, security forces arrested Ahmed Douma from his friend’s house in Cairo. The next day, an investigative judge ordered his 30-day detention pending investigations on charges of “incitement to violence” and “assaulting police and armed forces” in relation to his participation in the Cabinet Offices sit-in and ensuing violence. Three months later, Ahmed Douma was provisionally released pending investigations. On 3 December 2013, security forces re-arrested him amid a wave of arrests in the aftermath of the enactment of the draconian protest law (Law No. 107/2013) restricting freedom of peaceful assembly. Ahmed Douma has been arbitrarily detained since then.
- The Charges: participating in a gathering that threatens public peace with the aim of assaulting the military and police Amnesty International Public Statement www.amnesty.org 2 forces” and other offenses, including disruption of traffic, unauthorized possession of objects used to attack people, throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails at public buildings and setting fire to the People’s Assembly in relation to his participation in the “Cabinet events” protests in 2011.
- In February 2015, in a mass trial involving 268 other defendants, Circuit 5 of the Cairo Criminal Court convicted him of charges of “participating in a gathering that threatens public peace with the aim of assaulting the military and police forces” The court sentenced him, alongside 229 other people, tried in their absence, to life imprisonment and fines of 17 million Egyptian pounds (US$940,000).
- In October 2017, the Court of Cassation accepted Ahmed Douma’s appeal and ordered his re-trial before Circuit 11 of the Cairo Criminal Court. In January 2019, Circuit 11 of the Cairo Criminal Court convicted Ahmed Douma of the same charges but reduced his sentence to 15 years in prison and a fine of 6 million Egyptian pounds (US$ 382,000).
- The Court of Cassation upheld his sentence in July 2020. Ahmed Douma’s only recourse now is to be released through a presidential pardon.
- The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention has found that Ahmed Douma’s detention was arbitrary as it stemmed solely from his peaceful exercise of his human rights and followed criminal proceedings that failed to meet fair trial standards. The UN WGAD called for his immediate release and an enforceable right to remedy.
- The judicial proceedings against Ahmed Douma were politically motivated and intended to punish him for his activism, including his role in the 25 January 2011 uprising. The proceedings were marred by violations of the right to a fair trial.
Torture and ill-treatment, medical negligence, prolonged solitary confinement for four years and eight months and violation to the right to due process and fair trial.
Ahmed Douma had severe pain in different parts of his body as a result of being confined to his cell for more than 22 hours a day in poor prison conditions. He has knee and back pains resulting from his lack of movement and the absence of a bed, and sometimes even a mattress, in his solitary confinement cell. He also has high blood pressure, insomnia, constant headaches, severe depression, and panic attacks.
In October 2022, Ahmed Douma was moved to the New Badr Prison. The prison administration didn’t allow him to bring personal belongings or medication. Badr prison has recorded two deaths since its opening in 2022.