Bars Member behind Bars: Malek Adly’s Case History and Profile

Bars Member behind Bars: Malek Adly’s Case History and Profile


  • Born in Qalyubeyya governorate
  • Studied at the School of Law and was enrolled in post-graduate studies at Cairo University
  • Worked as a lawyer until co-founding the Front of Defense for Egyptian Protesters in 2008 during the calls for the 6th of April general strike in Mahalla. The Front has been providing legal support for protesters ever since
  • Joined Hisham Mubarak Law Center where he defended the rights of workers, torture victims, refugees and freedom of expression
  • Moved to work at the ECESR where he founded and directed the Criminal Justice Unit, which has been providing legal support for Egyptian citizens in cases related to freedoms and civil, political, and cultural rights. He regularly works as a legal advisor for several local and international HROs
  • He constantly provides legal support for a number of independent and professional unions and syndicates
  • Represented political activists, protesters, unionists, union leaders as well as families of those martyred and injured in the Revolution
  • Represented those who were arrested in different incidents related to the revolution, as well as victims of military trials for civilians and torture victims
  • Provided training in different topics related to human rights
  • Participated in the preparation of several legal, legislative and human rights papers
  • Several of his booklets and articles are published locally and internationally

Pleaded in key cases, such as:

  • The Cabinet Offices clashes case in December 2011
  • The Ittihadiyya Clashes in December 2012
  • The confiscation of the Qorsaya Island
  • Revealing the conditions of the World Bank loan
  • Opening a social dialogue about the public budget before its approval
  • Protecting the Egyptian heritage and antiquities from stealing, looting and negligence
  • Obtaining several key rulings for protecting refugees, punishing those involved in torture crimes and compelling the state to guarantee all moral and material rights of several of those martyred and injured in the 25 January Revolution
  • Regarding his most recent lawsuits, he represented one of the martyrs of the revolution before the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights
  • Represented several non-commissioned policemen who demanded the enhancement of their working conditions and the reform of the Ministry of Interior
  • Filed a lawsuit against the abusive measures practised by State Security Prosecution over lawyers, hindering them from doing their work

Circumstances of his arrest and the consequent violations

Malek called upon Egyptian citizens to register powers of attorney to him to file a lawsuit against the delimitation agreement of maritime borders between Egypt and Saudi Arabia where Egyptian sovereignty over its two islands “Tiran and Sinafir” is handed over to Saudi Arabia. This lawsuit was followed by a systematic media smear campaign by TV presenters who support the regime, as they aimed to defame him in a manner that includes character assassination and they presented online posts that allegedly belong to him. The posts were explained in a way that would incite the public opinion against him. The TV presenters also hosted a number of leading MOI officials to defame and slander him.

The public prosecution issued an arrest warrant against for Mr Adly based on vexatious investigations that claim that he spread false news propagating that “Tiran and Sinafir islands are Egyptian”. He was arrested by individuals dressed in plain clothes on 5 May 2015. He was beaten, threatened with a firearm and detained inside an unplated private vehicle with tinted windows. He was held incommunicado at an unknown place where he was interrogated in the absence of his lawyer about the lawsuit he filed regarding the islands of Tiran and Sinafir. Eventually, when he stood before the prosecution at 3 am, Mr Adly and his lawyers were surprized at hearing the charge that he was allegedly “drunk”, and at the fact that this accusation was leaked to some media outlets before the end of the interrogation in a persistent attempt to defame him.

Violations committed since his pre-trial detention:

Malek Adly was moved to the Tora Prison before the prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days in remand pending further investigations. His lawyers were surprized again at the Public Prosecution’s order to perform “medical tests” on him to check for any alcoholic substances or narcotics in his body, regardless of the fact that the prosecution never charged him with possession or trading of any narcotics. Later, his lawyers knew of his lockup in a solitary cell in the prison, and that his family members are prevented from visiting him or sending him food or clothing.


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