Open Letter

Palestinian civil society calls on Egyptian authorities to immediately release activist Ramy Shaath

30 Palestinian civil society organizations call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release human rights activist Ramy Shaath, and call on all Palestinian, Arab and international organizations to show solidarity with Ramy’s just cause and also call for his release.

Occupied Palestine, 15 September -- the undersigned Palestinian civil society organizations call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release human rights activist and co-founder of BDS Egypt, Ramy Shaath. Shaath has been detained in an Egyptian prison since July 5th under miserable conditions for his political views and nonviolent activism.

Ramy Shaath is a political and human rights activist who holds both Palestinian and Egyptian nationalities. Through his political work, he promotes support for the Palestinian struggle in Egypt. He has consistently condemned Israeli violations of Palestinian rights and opposed normalization with Israel’s regime of occupation, settler-colonialism and apartheid.

Prior to his arrest, Ramy participated in several public events and conducted a number of interviews with the media, through which he expressed his strong opposition to Egypt’s participation in the Bahrain Economic Peace Conference last June. The vast popular majority across the Arab world also condemned the conference as a part of the US-Israeli plan, dubbed “Deal of the Century,” to eliminate the Palestinian cause and bury Palestinian rights.

The repression of the Egyptian authorities did not stop at arresting Ramy and illegally and coercively deporting his French wife; the authorities have gone further, repeatedly extending his detention without providing any evidence of the charges against him. In a statement, Amnesty International considered Ramy Shaath to be “a prisoner of conscience, as his detention stems solely from the peaceful exercise of his right to freedom of expression and his right to participate in public affairs,” and called for his immediate release.

At a time when we are counting on our brethren in the Arab world, and at its heart the people of Egypt, to support our daily struggle against the Israeli colonial regime, and insisting on our choice of struggling against the enemy of our nation and rejecting any normalization with it, it is our right to ask about the remaining options for Palestinians today. Palestinian refugees, who are denied their right to return to their land, are also denied their basic and civil rights. Palestinians in the Gaza Strip have endured 12 years of siege in the largest open-air prison known to mankind, amidst official Arab silence. And now Palestinian Arabs are being tried for their nonviolent activism to advocate for their just cause, which we believe is the central cause of the entire Arab nation.

We repeat our call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release the human rights activist Ramy Shaath, and we call on all Palestinian, Arab and international organizations to show solidarity with Ramy’s just cause and also call for his release.

Signatures:

  1. Council of National and Islamic Forces in Palestine

  2. General Union of Palestinian Workers

  3. Palestinian General Federation of Trade Unions

  4. Palestinian Trade Union Coalition for BDS (PTUC-BDS)

  5. Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO)

  6. Palestinian National Institute for NGOs

  7. Federation of Indep. Trade Unions

  8. Global Palestine Right of Return Coalition

  9. Occupied Palestine and Syrian Golan Heights Initiative

  10. General Union of Palestinian Teachers

  11. Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE)

  12. General Union of Palestinian Women

  13. General Union of Palestinian Writers

  14. Union of Palestinian Farmers

  15. Grassroots Palestinian Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign - Stop the Wall

  16. Palestinian Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel (PACBI)

  17. Popular Struggle Coordination Committee (PSCC)

  18. Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem 

  19. Coalition for Jerusalem

  20. National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba

  21. Union of Public Employees in Palestine-Civil Sector

  22. General Union of Palestinian Peasants

  23. Union of Palestinian Charitable Organizations

  24. Union of Professional Associations

  25. Women Campaign to Boycott Israeli Products 

  26. Palestinian Economic Monitor

  27. Union of Youth Activity Centers-Palestine Refugee Camps

  28. Agricultural Cooperatives Union

  29. National Committee for Grassroots Resistance

  30. Communication Workers’ Union - Palestine (CWU - PS) 

Original letter in Arabic.


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