Free Judge Hesham Genena, Egypt's Political Prisoner and Ex-Auditor General
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Hesham Genena was Egypt’s ex-top auditor and anti-corruption chief from 2012-2016. In 2016, Genena published a report exposing state corruption amounting to 600 billion Egyptian pounds (around US $68 billion). He was then fired by the Egyptian president and former military general, Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, and handed a one-year suspended prison sentence for informing the Egyptian people about this corruption.
Amidst the character assassination and accusations of disturbing public order, Genena continued working with the opposition. Due to his continued work with the opposition, Genena suffered a failed assassination attempt on January 2018 by thugs that are believed to have been hired by the government. The attempt resulted in multiple fractures and severe bleeding to various parts of his body.
Thereafter, in February 2018, Genena was arrested after stating in an interview with the Huffington Post Arabi that the opposition is in possession of documents incriminating the “country’s leadership” of the violent repression of protesters during the 2011 Egyptian revolution and threatened to release these documents.
In April 2018, Genena was accused of incitement against the military, put on military trial, and sentenced to five years in prison; this is the maximum sentence for such accusation.
Activists and rights groups had hailed Genena as a champion of anti-corruption in Egypt and considered him to be the loudest remaining opposition voice in Egypt. Following the five-year sentence, Amnesty International released the following statement:
“The arrest, military trial and outrageous five-year sentence for Hesham Genena is another example of the shameless silencing of anyone who is critical of the Egyptian authorities. We call for the immediate and unconditional release of Hesham Genena. His continued imprisonment for his criticism of the recent election process is a reprehensible violation of his right to freedom of expression. "
Hesham has been held in solitary confinement since his imprisonment of February 12, 2018. He is not permitted to leave his cell, has been denied proper medical care and has repeatedly experienced panic attacks and suffers from insomnia. Prison officials have repeatedly refused him much needed surgery to save the vision in his left eye. He also suffers from digestive problems and lost 45 pounds of weight as a result of his 24/7 solitary confinement and his inability to walk or exercise.
We call on all human rights advocates, NGOs and all those who support human rights and freedom of speech to call for immediate release of Hesham Genena
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