The Egyptian human rights coalition on cop 27 Petition

Ahead of COP27, Open Civic Space and Release Everyone Arbitrarily Detained in Egypt

In the run up to the UN Climate Change Conference 2022 (COP27) taking place in Egypt’s resort town of Sharm El Sheikh from 7 to18 November 2022, the undersigned organizations, groups and individuals note with great concern the human rights situation in Egypt and in particular the government’s restrictions on the rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly, which risk to undermine a successful, inclusive and participatory climate summit.

Advancing climate justice demands an inclusive, holistic approach to environmental policy that embeds human rights and tackles systemic problems, including historically rooted social injustices, ecological destruction, abuses by businesses, corruption and impunity, and social and economic inequality. The strongest voices across the world pushing back against these systemic problems, and in favor of more meaningful and ambitious climate action, have come from civil society.

We voice our support to the call made by the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association: that the work of civil society be recognized, publicly and at the highest levels, as essential to the advancement of climate action and just transition. Moreover, we stress the importance of the right to freedom of expression and independent reporting to foster efforts to address the climate crisis.

We emphasize that effective climate action is not possible without open civic space. As host of COP27, Egypt risks compromising the success of the summit if it does not urgently address ongoing arbitrary restrictions on civil society.

We call on Egypt to ensure that civil society organizations, activists, and communities can meaningfully participate in all discussions and activities on climate and just-transition policy development and implementation at all levels of decision-making without fear of reprisals. Authorities must put in place transparent and inclusive processes to ensure that everyone, including women, Indigenous peoples and local communities, workers, youth, children, persons with disabilities, and other groups facing marginalization or discrimination, is provided with equal opportunities to effectively participate in climate decision-making.

We also call on Egypt to end the prosecutions of civil society activists and organizations and guarantee space for civil society—including human rights defenders—to work without fear of intimidation, harassment, arrest, detention, or any other form of reprisal, including by releasing of unjustly jailed human rights defenders, lifting arbitrarily travel bans and asset freezes and closing all politically-motivated cases against activists targeted for their human rights work.

Access to information is central to effective participation. To this end, we call on the Egyptian authorities to immediately end the arbitrarily blocking of websites and ensure access inside the country to the hundreds of independent media, human rights organizations and other blocked websites. We also call for the immediate release of all journalists who have been imprisoned solely for doing their job, and an end to restrictions on media and digital spheres.

We recognize that a select number of journalists, human rights defenders, and other individuals who had been arbitrarily detained were conditionally released in recent months. We urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately and unconditionally release all those held simply for peacefully exercising their human rights, implementing criteria set by local NGOs for these releases: fairness, transparency, inclusiveness, and urgency.

Preparations for COP27 are taking place against the backdrop of an ongoing and deep-rooted human rights crisis in Egypt. The Egyptian authorities have for years employed draconian laws, including laws on counter terrorism, cyber crimes, and civil society, to stifle all forms of peaceful dissent and shut down civic space. We note that, under the current government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, thousands continue to be arbitrarily detained without a legal basis, following grossly unfair trials, or solely for peacefully exercising their human rights. Thousands are held in prolonged per-trial detention on the basis of spurious terrorism and national security accusations. Among those arbitrarily detained are dozens of journalists targeted for their media work, social media users punished for sharing critical online content, women convicted on morality-related charges for making Tik Tok videos, and members of religious minorities accused of blasphemy.

Prisoners are held in detention conditions that violate the absolute prohibition of torture and other ill-treatment, and since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi came to power hundreds have died in custody amid reports of denial of healthcare and other abuse. Egypt remains one of the world’s top executioners, executing 107 in 2020 to 83 in 2021, with at least 356 people sentenced to death in 2021, many following grossly unfair trials including by emergency courts. The crisis of impunity has emboldened Egyptian security forces to carry out extra-judicial executions and other unlawful killing, enforced disappearances and torture with no fear of consequences.

The Egyptian authorities must take meaningful steps to address the human rights crisis, including by lifting restrictions of civic space and ending their crackdown on peaceful dissent.

Led by

  1. Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE)
  2. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS)
  3. Committee for Justice (CFJ)
  4. Egyptian Front for Human Rights (EFHR)
  5. Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR)
  6. EgyptWide for Human Rights
  7. El Nadeem Center Against Violence and Torture
  8. Refugees Platform in Egypt (RPE)
  9. Sinai Foundation for Human Rights
  10. The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)
  11. The Freedom Initiative (FI)
  12. Egyptian Human Rights Forum


  1. 350 Aotearoa
  3. AAA Accountancy UK
  4. AbibiNsroma Foundation ANF
  5. Access Now
  6. Aid/Watch
  7. ALPD
  8. Amazon Watch
  9. Amnesty International
  10. Arab Network for Knowledge about Human rights
  11. Arab States CSOs & Feminists Network
  13. Asia Pacific Network of Environment Defenders
  15. Association des jeunes pour le développement du Ouaddai
  16. Avli Initiative
  17. BankTrack
  18. BJP
  20. CAN Latin America
  21. CAN Tanzania
  22. CAN-Japan
  23. Center for Environmental Concerns – Philippines Inc.
  24. Center for International Environmental Law
  25. Center for International Policy
  26. Centre for Citizens Conserving Environment & Management (CECIC)
  28. Climate & Sustainability
  29. Climate Justice Alliance
  30. CNCD-11.11.11
  31. Coal Action Network Aotearoa
  32. Coalition Marocaine pour la Justice Climatique (CMJC)
  34. Colectivo VientoSur
  35. Collectif Sénégalais des Africaines pour la Promotion de l’Éducation Relative à l’Environnement ( COSAPERE)
  36. Commission on Environment and Climate Justice – International League of Peoples’ Struggle
  37. Coordination des Associations et des Particuliers pour la Liberté de Conscience
  38. Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN)
  39. DIGNITY – Danish Institute Against Torture
  40. Diverse Voices and Action (DIVA) for Equality
  41. EarthRights International
  42. Eastbourne Solidarity
  43. EcoEquity
  44. Ecojustice Ireland
  45. Ecologistas en Acción
  1. Egyptian Americans For Justice
  2. Emonyo Yefwe International
  3. ENERGIES 2050
  4. Environmental conflict mediation and Women Development
  5. Environmental Justice Foundation
  6. Equidad de Genero: Ciudadanía, Trabajo y Familia
  7. EuroMed Rights
  8. Fastenaktion
  9. Finnish Development NGOs – Fingo
  10. FOKUS – Forum for Women and Development
  12. Forum des Jeunes
  13. Franciscan Action Network
  14. Franciscans International
  15. Friends of the Earth England, Wales and Northern Ireland
  16. Friends of the Earth Germany/ BUND
  17. Friends of the Earth International
  18. Friends of the Earth Liverpool
  19. Friends of the Earth Scotland
  20. G.R.A.M.E.D
  21. GAIA – Global Alliance for Incinerator Alternatives
  22. Gastivists Collective
  23. GenderCC-Women for Climate Justice e.V.
  24. Global Focus
  25. Global Justice Now
  26. Grassroots Global Justice Alliance
  27. Haiti Cholera Research Funding Foundation Inc.. USA HCRFF
  28. Heinrich Boell Foundation
  29. Human Rights Without Frontiers
  30. HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagement
  31. ILPS Commission 10
  32. Indigenous Peoples’ Organisation-Australia
  33. International Commission of Jurists (ICJ)
  34. International Indigenous Peoples Movement for Self-Determination and Liberation (IPMSDL)
  35. International Peace Bureau
  36. International Service for Human Rights (ISHR)
  37. International Work Group for Indigenous Affairs (IWGIA)
  38. Kabataan para sa Tribung Pilipino (Katribu Youth)
  39. Karamoja Go Green
  40. Klima Action Malaysia (KAMY)
  41. Kvinna till Kvinna Foundation
  42. Ligue pour la solidarité congolaise
  43. Liverpool City Region Climate Justice Coalition
  44. Liverpool Friends of the Earth
  45. Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
  1. Merdeka West Papua Support Network
  2. Migrante International
  3. Minority Rights Group International
  4. Mom Loves Taiwan Association
  5. NAJU (Youth Association for the Protection of Nature)
  6. NDEO
  8. Nordic Youth Biodiversity Network
  9. North-East Affected Area Development Society (NEADS)
  10. Norwegian Forum for Development and Environment
  11. OASIS
  12. Observatório do Clima
  13. Observatory for the Protection of the Environment and Historical Monument
  14. Physicians for Social Responsibility Pennsylvania
  15. Plataforma Boliviana Frente al Cambio Climático
  16. Project on Middle East Democracy (POMED)
  17. Protection International
  18. Reacción Climática
  19. Reporters Without Borders
  20. Saharawi Active Youth
  21. Sankalpa Darchula Nepal, South Asia
  22. SERUNI
  23. Sisters of Charity Federation
  24. Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill
  25. Somali Youth Development Foundation (SYDF)
  26. Southern Anti-Racism Network
  27. Sukaar Welfare Organization
  28. The Green Youth Movement (DGUB) (Denmark)
  29. The Resilient40
  30. The SANE Collective
  31. Tipping Point UK
  32. Transnational Institute
  33. Tulele Peisa Inc
  34. UNISC International
  35. US Committe to End Political Repression in Egypt
  36. Value Life
  37. Vikas Adhyayan Kendra
  38. War on Want
  39. Water Justice and Gender
  40. Women Engage for a Common Future
  41. Women for Green Economy Movement ugada
  42. World Friends for Africa Burkina Faso/ Membership Organiser at CAN West and Central Africa
  43. World Organisation Against Torture (OMCT) in the framework of the Observatory for the Protection of Human Rights Defenders
  44. Yorkshire and the Humber Climate Justice Coalition
  45. Youth for Development and Human Rights Advancement


  1. Adrian Tanner
  2. Ahmed Abdelfattah
  3. Ahmed Ezzat
  4. Ahti Tolvanen
  6. Alaa Soueif
  7. Ali Atef
  8. Alia Hammad
  9. Ana Vicente Moreno
  10. Andreas Moesch
  11. Anja Hazekamp
  12. Aoife Devaney
  13. Aurelie Buytaert
  14. Aurelio Castro
  15. Barbara Gribbon
  16. Basila Maya
  17. Bed Awa-ao
  18. Bernard Barré
  19. Beverley Binfield
  20. Beverly L. Longid
  21. Billon
  22. Bjørn Olav Utvik
  23. Cait Murphy
  24. Caitlin Osfield
  25. Carmen fulco
  26. Céline Lebrun Shaath
  27. Cesar Bollecer Jr
  28. Chanchana
  29. Chris Vrettos
  30. Chris Preston
  31. Christa Salamandra
  32. Christiane Hildebrandt
  33. Christina Maria Cecilia M. Sayson
  34. Christine-Anne
  35. Claire Regan
  36. corinna baudisch
  37. Daniel Leclerc
  38. David Jesero
  39. David Robertson
  40. Dayoon Kim
  41. Debora Singer
  42. Diaa El-Masry
  43. Dr Oye Ideki
  44. Elena Cal
  45. Elizabeth Cornish
  46. Elizabeth Knight
  47. Elle Glenny
  48. Elondra Eichenberger
  49. Esha Shah
  50. Francesca Biancani
  51. Francesco Correale
  1. G. Andrea Teti
  2. Gabi Helfert
  3. Gabriele Köhler
  4. Geoffrey Mock
  5. Gideon Berry
  6. Gine Zwart
  7. Hendrik Voss
  8. Hugo Alan
  9. Idoia Villanueva Ruiz
  10. Isabelle Sain
  11. Isla Smith
  12. Ivan Hortal Sánchez
  13. J. V.
  14. Jeremy Adeba
  15. Jessica Besch
  16. John Chalcraft
  17. John Schaefer
  18. Jorge Martínez
  19. José Gusmão
  20. Josh Hughes
  21. Julia Horn
  22. Julian Hirschmann
  23. Junghee Min
  24. Kathy Grant
  25. Kerstin Doerenbruch
  26. Khaled Fahmy
  27. Komla Bassah
  28. Lenka Hélová
  29. Lesley Gordon
  30. Liina Mustonen
  31. Lin Patterson
  32. Lorena Cotza
  33. Lydia Darby
  34. Maggie Vicuna
  35. Mamadou SYLLA
  36. Mamta Lukram
  37. Manar Abdelaziz
  38. Manuel Leick-Jonard
  39. Mariam TOURE KEITA
  40. Marie Lecocq
  41. Mario Caffera
  42. Marisa Santos
  43. Marjorie Finlay
  44. Mark Doran
  45. martin mantxo
  46. Martin Vilela
  47. Mary Miller
  48. Matthew Crighton
  49. Mehdy BELABBAS
  50. Melony
  51. Mia Bradić
  52. Michael Barkley
  1. Michael Ineichen
  2. Michael Taylor
  3. Michel Vanhoorne
  4. Mohamed Mokhtar
  5. Mounir Satouri
  6. Nancy Okail
  7. Narasimha Reddy Donthi
  8. Natalie Rivas
  9. Natasha
  10. Ndivile Mokoena
  11. neil thorns
  12. nelia lauper
  13. Nicoletta Demarchi
  14. Nsama Musonda Kearns
  15. Parus Shah
  16. Pat Bryden
  17. Paul Mather
  18. Rachel Allen
  19. Ramy Shaath
  20. Rasha Wegdan
  21. Renuka Kad
  22. Roland Chaplain
  23. Ron Smith
  24. Rosa van Driel
  25. Rosemary Cleary
  26. Roshan Lal
  27. Sakina Maman Bawa
  28. Salma El Hosseiny
  29. salome Nduta
  30. Sandra Carter
  31. sarah sakouti
  32. Sarah Rifky
  33. Shaimaa Elbanna
  34. Shaon Zeiler
  35. Shelagh King
  36. Shima
  37. Simone Lennerz
  38. Sofie Bech Larsen
  39. Sophie Maziane
  40. Sophie Ciurlik Rittenbaum
  41. Stephen Crozier
  42. Steve Ongerth
  43. Su’ad Abdul Khabeer
  44. Sumita Pahwa
  45. Tamara Lorincz
  46. Ted Swedenburg
  47. Therese Arru
  48. Veena Balakrishnan
  49. Venus Lim
  50. Yazan Badran
  51. Yohei Takata
  52. Yves LADOR
  53. + 29 publicly anonymous
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