Vital Voices Statement on Egyptian Human Rights Defender & Feminist Mozn Hassan

September 2021 — At Vital Voices, we are deeply concerned by the ongoing judicial harassment and intimidation of Mozn Hassan and the non-governmental organization she co-founded, Nazra for Feminist Studies. Mozn is a dedicated human rights defender whose organization helps survivors of gender-based violence access medical, psychological and legal support. She is an award-winning advocate and feminist leader who’s committed to advancing gender equality in Egypt.

On August 30, Egyptian authorities announced that after seven years, they were finally ending investigations into at least six human rights defenders, lifting travel bans and asset freezes against them. But Mozn and Nazra were not included in this group. This leaves Mozn as the only woman and Nazra as the only feminist organization to remain unfairly targeted by Egyptian authorities.

We urgently call on the Egyptian government to immediately drop its unfounded charges against Mozn Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies, and lift the travel ban and asset freeze that have been imposed since 2016 and 2017, respectively. Human rights defenders like Mozn must be protected and free to provide critical services without fear of reprisals and legal intimidation. #WeStandWithMozn #WeStandWithNazra

“Women human rights defenders need democratic environments to be able to act. Criminalizing our work only gives legitimacy and permission for perpetrators of gender-based violence to continue. If the state is truly pro- women’s rights, they must allow me and Nazra for Feminist Studies to continue our work on behalf of women.” – Mozn Hassan