Women's Organisations Allied in Solidarity with Dr. Basma Abd el-Aziz

Press Release

27 October 2011

The following group of allied Egyptian women's organisations wishes to express its condemnation of the threats faced by the psychologist and patients' rights activist Dr. Basma Abd el-Aziz, as well as her referral to administrative investigation based on the statement that she issued on Monday 24th October. Dr. Abd el-Aziz, in her capacity as Director of Information of the General Secretariat for Mental Health, issued a statement opposing the referral of political activists and opinion makers to mental hospitals, on the pretext of assessing their mental health. This was in reference to the referral of activist Maikel Nabil, subjected to a military trial on the charge of insulting the military, to the mental hospital in Abbassiya.

The allied organisations emphasise their total support for Dr. Abd el-Aziz's personal and professional right to affirm the ethics of the psychiatric profession. This ethical code condemns all attempts to exploit mental hospitals for political ends, and to discredit and undermine opponents to the political and social regime by labelling them as mentally ill.

The alliance therefore wishes to express its complete solidarity with Dr. Abd el-Aziz. It also demands an immediate halt to the investigation against her, an end to military trials for civilians in general and in cases of individual opinion, and an end to the use of state institutions for illegitimate purposes.

Signatory Organisations:
The Woman and Memory Forum.
Nazra for Feminist Studies.
Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
New Woman Foundation.
Centre for Egyptian Women's Legal Aid.
Association for Rights and Development.
Cairo Centre for Development.
Egyptian Association for Community Participation Enhancement.
Egyptian Foundation for Family Development.
ACT Egypt.
Women's Development Forum.