As the African Feminist Forum Working Group we are distressed to hear that nine women human rights defenders were arrested on 21 June 2014 in Cairo after participating in a peaceful protest against the Protest and Public Assembly Law. The nine women are: Yara Sallam, Sanaa Seif, Hanan Mustafa Mohamed, Salwa Mihriz, Samar Ibrahim, Rania El-Sheikh, Nahid Sherif (known as Nahid Bebo) and Fikreya Mohamed.
As Africans and as feminists we have witnessed the tremendous leadership of Egyptian women before, during and since the 2011 revolution and in organising for democracy, including taking to streets where they have continued to mobilize despite facing violence and harassment for being women. We know that this is the continuation of a legacy of brave and important activism that Egyptian feminists and women’s rights activists have made across history towards shaping freedom in Egypt.
As the African Feminist Forum Working Group we send out solidarity to our fellow activists and sisters.
We also add our support to the following six demands made by Nazra for Feminist Studies, to the Egyptian authorities:
1. Drop all charges directed at the women human rights defenders and effectuate their immediate and unconditional release;
2. Guarantee in all circumstances the physical and psychological integrity of all the aforementioned women human rights defenders;
3. Cease the harassment and persecution of human rights defenders and ensure that all human rights defenders in Egypt are able to carry out their legitimate human rights activities free from persecution, arbitrary arrest, judicial harassment and physical violence;
4. Ensure that the Protest and Public Assembly Law is revised to be fully compliant with relevant international standards and the newly passed Egyptian constitution;
5. Guarantee the right of women human rights defenders to engage in human rights work and take measures to ensure their protection before the law and in society;
6. Quash the convictions of other human rights defenders that are based on a Protest and Public Assembly Law and drop all charges stemming from the legitimate exercise of the rights of freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
African Feminist Forum Working Group
Date 24th June 2014
 Law No, 107 on the Right to Public Meetings, Processions and Peaceful Demonstrations, passed in 2013