Egyptian activist Mahienour El-Massry receives international rights award

Mahienour El-Massry, revolutionary activist (Photo: Mahienour's official Facebook page)

Mahienour El-Massry, revolutionary activist (Photo: Mahienour’s official Facebook page)

El-Massry dedicated the award she received in Italy to fellow activists still in prison

Egyptian activist Mahienour El-Massry received the 2014 Ludovic Trarieux international human rights award in Florence on Friday.

El-Massry was announced as the winner of the award in June while in prison in Egypt serving a two-year sentence for organising an unauthorised protest. Her sentence was reduced and then suspended in September.

In her acceptance speech, the lawyer dedicated the award to the eight other activists who were convicted with her in the same case, but remain in prison.

She also dedicated it to others imprisoned activists, many of whom had, like El-Massry, been jailed for violating the controversial law which bans unauthorised demonstrations.

“Being a lawyer opens your eyes to the amount of injustice in society and lawyers have to choose whether they want to serve justice or to serve the law, even if it is against the people’s interest,” she said at the awards ceremony.

Read more at Ahram Online

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Categories: Egypt, Free speech, Human rights, Top stories, World news

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6 replies

  1. This is one of the cases that let me distrust HR awards to people from the middle east. It turns to be political awards for press fake heroes who don’t deserve it

    Mahienour broke the laws deliberately and refused to ask for assembly liiscence as a gestuure of contempt of authorities.. Even so, the judge suspended her 6 months sentence and she is released
    If you award disrespect of the laws in your country everyone will break it

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Civil disobedience is a time-honoured method of protesting injustice and political oppression. Henry David Thoreau, Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Vaclav Havel, as well as the protests of the Occupy movement, Tahrir Square and Taksim Gezi Park are just a few examples of people who have peacefully resisted injustice. The Wikipedia entry on civil disobedience notes:

    One of its earliest massive implementations was brought about by Egyptians against the British occupation in the 1919 Revolution.[3] Civil disobedience is one of the many ways people have rebelled against what they deem to be unfair laws. It has been used in many nonviolent resistance movements in India (Gandhi’s campaigns for independence from the British Empire), in Czechoslovakia’s Velvet Revolution and in East Germany to oust their communist governments,[4][5] in South Africa in the fight against apartheid, in the American Civil Rights Movement, in the Singing Revolution to bring independence to the Baltic countries from the Soviet Union, recently with the 2003 Rose Revolution in Georgia and the 2004 Orange Revolution[6] in Ukraine, among other various movements worldwide.

    El-Massry was also detained under Morsi and also during president Hosni Mubarak’s reign.

    I understand your point. But the right to peaceful protest is a core constitutional right in America. It is also regarded as a universal human right:

    The rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and association are among the most important human rights we possess. Simply put, these rights protect peoples’ ability to come together and work for the common good. They are a vehicle for the exercise of many other civil, cultural, economic, political and social rights, allowing people to express their political opinions, engage in artistic pursuits, engage in religious observances, form and join trade unions, elect leaders to represent their interests and hold them accountable. Today, the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association are enshrined in international law as fundamental freedoms. But their philosophical origins are not cultural, or specific to a particular place and time. Rather, these rights are born from our common human heritage, rooted in the simple fact that every civilization is built upon cooperation and collaboration, from many and not one. It is human nature – and human necessity – that people come together to collectively pursue their interests. Vibrant assembly and association rights are a prerequisite not only for a legitimate democracy, but also for a just society.

    UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association

    Liked by 2 people

    • This is a simple case not like wall streat , and there’s no apartheid or occupation to make a comparison with S.Africa and India
      Making a coparison sometimes is misleading.
      An obvious example is the Brotherhood comparing Morsi to Mandela.
      They call Morsi ‘Mandella of the Arab’ because both were imprisoned.
      They don’t compare the reasons in each case

      The new law in Egypt is temporal and will be checked by the coming Parliament
      It is not banning the right of demonstrating but it is emphacizing at getting a permission first like in any other country. Adding this item is necessary to control the violent incessant protests of Brotherhood that have vandalized the infrastructure

      I have nothing against Mahienour but that she is making a show at the wrong time in Egypt by protesting an ordinary law that is not even strict like in US.

      I searched protesting laws in many countries and I found that they all call for permission and they all allow violent response against the protestors if they attacked soldiers or police buildings

      This video is not from the middle east, the place and police outfit look like in the West especially in UK

      I am not sure about it anyway but it,s titled ‘Police response in Australia’

      I am against what’s happening in this video 100% but where’s the HR to condemn it instead of awarding disrespect of the laws?

      Liked by 2 people

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