London, August 15, 2017
Arab Media Freedom Monitor “Ikshef” condemns the German authorities’ decision to detain journalist Abdul-Rahman Ezz at Berlin airport because of a warrant issued by the Egyptian Interpol on the backdrop of unjust political charges that resulted in his being sentenced to death in absentia. The detention has taken place despite he has a British travel document because he is political refuge in Britain, which makes him protected by the Geneva Convention for the Protection of Refugees.
Ikshef asserts that the detention of Ezz violates international rules and laws guaranteeing security and freedom of movement of political refugees who are at risk in their countries because of their political stances.
In February 2015, Interpol adopted a new policy following human rights pressure over the use of its international tools to prosecute political opponents under the guise of criminal offenses. The organization has officially recognized that when it comes to international police cooperation – the promotion of which is the organization’s primary objective – refugees deserve Interpol special protection. This special protection is necessary to protect refugees from member states using Interpol channels to persecute political opponents and other victims of corrupt criminal prosecution. Protecting individuals from persecution is one of Interpol’s main objectives. It is unacceptable that the new policy would violate this objective.
Ikshef demands the German authorities to quickly release journalist and political activist Ezz, and to ignore warrants issued by the Egyptian regime, whose repressive policies have left tragedies recognized by all international human rights organizations. Ikshef calls on the German authorities not to fall into the traps of the Egyptian authorities again or allow them to use the German police to avenge their political opponents, surrender them or endanger their lives.
On this occasion, Ikshef also calls on the German authorities to reconsider the security agreement with the Egyptian regime, which was passed by the German Parliament on April 27, under which Germany provides technical expertise and training courses for Egyptian security personnel to help them pursue journalists, activists and political opponents.