The Forum 2000’s ICDR calls for the immediate release of Egyptian activist Hisham Kassem

October 25, 2023

Prague, Forum 2000 Conference

Members of the International Coalition for Democratic Renewal “strongly condemn Egypt’s widespread and systematic attacks on peaceful dissent and will continue to shine a spotlight on the ongoing violations and abuses against partners on the ground.” This statement was approved during the Coalition Plenary Session within the Forum 2000 Conference.

On September 16th, an Egyptian court sentenced prominent pro-democracy leader Hisham Kassem to six months in prison on trumped up charges of “defamation” and “contempt of officials” for his criticism of former Minister Kamal Abu Eita. This targeting immediately followed his public critique of President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's governance. The sentencing of Hisham Kassem for exercising his right to freedom of expression is part of a broader crackdown on pro-democracy activists in the context of forthcoming sham elections expected to solidify the rule of incumbent dictator al-Sisi.

“The International Coalition for Democratic Renewal stands in solidarity with our friend and colleague Hisham Kassem and calls for his immediate and unconditional release.”

International Coalition for Democratic Renewal (ICDR or Coalition) is a Forum 2000 Foundation’s project, which brings together a global group of intellectuals, activists, and politicians concerned with the expansion of power and influence of authoritarian regimes and the simultaneous weakening of democratic systems from within. The ICDR aims to reaffirm the fundamental principles of democracy, to take the offensive against the authoritarian opponents of democracy, and to demonstrate solidarity with the brave people who are fighting for freedom in undemocratic systems around the world.