261/2002 – Interights et al/Egypt
32 nd Session: Commissioner El Hassan
33 rd Session: Commissioner El Hassan
Summary of Facts
1. The complaint is submitted by Interights representing the Pan-African Movement (PAM), the Legal Resources Consortium (LRC), the Legal Defence and Aid Project (LEDAP) and Recontre Africaine pour la defense des droits de l’homme(RADDHO) who filed the same on behalf of Professor Saadeddin Mohammed Ibrahim, head of the Ibn Khaldun Centre for Development Studies (IKC) and 27 other persons.
2. This complaint follows the trial and conviction by the Supreme Security Court of the Respondent State in May 2001 of professor Saadeddin Ibrahim, Director and Chair of the Board of Directors of the Ibn Khaldun Center for Development Studies, who was also treassurer of Hay’at Da’am al-Nakhibat (Association for the Support of Women Voters, known in Egypt as ‘Hoda Association’), together with twenty-seven other persons. They were all working either as permanent employees or project associates of the two organisations and ten of them were tried in absentia.
3. The complainants allege that the accused were charged with deliberately disseminating information abroad about the internal situation in the Respondent State damaging its stature contrary to Article 80(d) of the Penal Code, conspiring to bribe public officials to undermine the performance of their duties contrary to Articles 40(2), 40(3), and 48 of the Penal Code, receiving donations from the European Union (EU) without prior permission from the competent authorities contrary to Articles 1(6) and 2(1) of Military Order No. 4 of 1992, using deceptive methods to defraud the EU of funds made available to the two organisations contrary to Article 336 (1) of the Penal Code, and accepting and offering bribes and of forgery of official documents contrary to Articles 103, 104, 107bis, 207, 211, and 214 of the Penal Code. They were convicted and sentenced to several terms of imprisonment ranging from seven years with hard labour to one year suspended terms.
4. In the process of apprehending, trying and convicting the accused, the Complainants allege that the Respondent State violated their pre-trial and trial rights, freedom of expression, rights to appeal, and rights to effective domestic remedies.
5. The Complainants allege violations of Articles 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7(1), 9(2), 13(1), 16(1) and (2) and 26 of the African Charter on Human and peoples Rights.
6. The Complaint was dated 4 th October 2002 and received at the Secretariat on 9 th October 2002 by mail.
7. At its 32 nd Ordinary Session held from 17 th to 23 rd October 2002 in Banjul, The Gambia, the African Commission considered the complaint and decided to be seized thereof.
8. On 4 th November 2002, the Secretariat wrote to the complainant and Respondent State to inform them of this decision and requested them to forward their submissions on admissibility to the Secretariat before the 33 rd Ordinary Session of the African Commission.
9. At its 33 rd Ordinary Session held from 15 th to 29 th May 2003 in Niamey, Niger, the African Commission heard the Complainant’s oral submissions on the matter, during which the latter made an explicit oral request to the African Commission to withdraw the Communication. The Complainant also stated it will send its written request for the same soon.
For the abovementioned reason the African Commission,
Takes note of the withdrawal of the communication by the Complainant and decides to close the file.
Done at the 33 rd Ordinary Session held in Niamey, Niger, from 15 th to 29 th May 2003.