20 Oct 2021
Human Rights Organizations:We demand the immediate and unconditional release of the pharmacist Isis Mustafa
20 أكتوبر 2021

The undersigned human rights organisations condemn the arbitrary detention of the pharmacist Isis Mustafa Mohamed Ahmed and demand her immediate and unconditional release.

Following her arrest on the 16th of October, yesterday the Supreme State Security Prosecution issued a decision to imprison Isis for 15 days in connection with Case No. 2214 of 2021 Supreme State Security, on charges of joining a terrorist group and disseminating false news.

For those who don't know Isis’ story : 

The young pharmacist is a 27 year old female who works in the special health unit of the village of Kafr Atallah Salama in the Al-Sharqia Governorate.

According to Isis, things had been stable since the beginning of her work at the unit, until recently. Things changed when a new employee who had been appointed as "a clerk" in charge of the daily attendance and departure records began deliberately harassing Isis and offensively commenting on her outfits and on the fact that she does not wear a head cover. The new employee had also claimed that her daughter was more deserving of employment than Isis since the latter didn’t deserve it according to her views.

All this prompted Isis to file a complaint against her colleague to the administrative prosecution. As soon as she learned about the complaint, the new employee along with other nurses in the unit assaulted the young pharmacist and threatened to imprison her as she claimed to have relatives in positions of power and influence. Besides being physically assaulted , Isis was sexually harassed by a male employee while she was being beaten by her female colleagues.

At the moment of the assault, Isis documented what happened in a video clip and took the legal measures that are supposed to protect her in accordance with the state’s directions to encourage girls and women to document and report violence-related crimes , hoping to obtain her right.

. She went to the Zagazig Police Station where her statements were kept in record No.38399 of Zagazig Police Station 2021 Misdemeanours, according to which she accused her colleagues of physically assaulting and sexually harassing her.

The video of Isis had been widely spread and had sparked outrage among social media users and many demanded justice for the victim, seeing that at the end of her video, Isis asked Dr. Hicham Massaoud , the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Health in Al-Sharqia Governorate, to intervene and investigate the incident.

And indeed, the young pharmacist ended up meeting Dr. Mamdouh Ghorab, the governor of al Sharqiya, Dr. Hisham Masoud, the undersecretary of the Ministry of Health, and Dr. Essam Aboul Fotouh, the head of the Pharmacists Syndicate in al sharqiya.

However on the 16th of October, and to her surprise, Isis was arrested by security forces while she was in front of her pharmacy. She was taken to the police station where she stayed for two days before appearing before the Supreme State Security Prosecution which issued a decision to imprison her for 15 days on remand for charges of joining a terrorist group and disseminating false news despite her not being affiliated in any way with any political entity or civil society organisation.

The undersigned organisations denounce the criminalization of the victim and consider the act of imprisoning her as an arbitrary decision against her and a flagrant violation of her constitutional right to resort to justice in the event of an assault. 

We also appeal to Mr. Hamada Al Sawi, the Public Prosecutor, to immediately release the pharmacist Isis Mustapha Mohamed Ahmed,to drop all the charges against her, and take her legal status as a victim of violence,not a suspect, into consideration, with the obligation to provide the appropriate assistance to guarantee her right to resort to the law against those who assaulted her.

Organisations that signed this statement

Belady Island for Humanity 

Sinai Foundation for Human Rights

New Woman Foundation