Mozn Hassan (2016 Laureate)

Country: Egypt

Current status: Travel ban, assets freeze, judicial harassment

Mozn Hassan is a prominent Egyptian feminist activist and human rights defender. She is the Executive Director of Nazra for Feminist Studies, a Cairo-based women’s rights organisation aiming to nurture young feminists to contribute to the development and continuity of a feminist movement in Egypt and in the broader MENA region to mainstream gender equality across all spheres of society. During the 2011 Egyptian revolution, Nazra has documented and coordinated the response to the sexual assaults on women participating in public protests, ensuring that survivors received medical, psychological and legal support.

The Egyptian government has been regularly attempting to impede Hassan to carry out her human rights advocacy and services, including through travel bans and asset freezes. Since 2011, it has launched a judicial harassment campaign against her and Nazra under case No. 173/2011, also known as the “Foreign Funding Case”. The bogus case accuses NGOs and their representatives of receiving unauthorised foreign funds. Among the numerous charges that she is facing is “inciting and calling for the irresponsible liberation of women”. On December 20, 2018, 43 defendants were acquitted, but the travel ban and asset freezes ordered against Hassan and Nazra remain in place.

  • March 22, 2016: Hassan was summoned to appear before a judge investigating case 173 soon after her participation in various side events and workshops at the UN Commission on the Status of Women (CSW).
  • June 28, 2016: Hassan was prevented by the airport authorities in Cairo from attending and participating in a regional conference held in Beirut. She had not been officially notified of the travel ban imposed against her beforehand.
  • January 11, 2017: North Cairo Elementary Court issued an asset freeze order on Nazra’s and Hassan’s assets based on a request by the investigative judge of case 173. As a consequence of the order, in March 2018, Nazra had to close its office.
  • June 2019: Hassan filed a request to judiciary authorities to lift the unfair and punitive measures imposed on her and Nazra. The case was postponed 7 times.
  • July 18, 2020: The North Cairo Criminal Court – Circuit 30 rejected the appeals of both Hassan and Nazra for Feminist Studies against the travel ban order and the assets freeze orders.

Protection and Advocacy

March 4, 2021: The Right Livelihood Foundation organised a high-level event on the impact of feminist foreign policies on the lives of WHRDs, in which Mozn Hassan shared her expertise and personal experience. 

December 7, 2020: On the occasion of the visit of the Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to France, the Right Livelihood Foundation and Nazra for Feminist Studies addressed a letter to French President Emmanuel Macron to express deep concern at the human rights situation in Egypt and the ongoing persecution of WHRD. 

December 1, 2020: The Right Livelihood Foundation submitted a report to the OHCHR on Hassan’s case to inform the UN High Commissioner report on the situation of WHRD in the MENA region.   

November 2020: The Right Livelihood Foundation provided a member of Nazra with digital security training, carried out by Freedom of the Press Foundation.  

October 12, 2020: The Right Livelihood Foundation and Nazra for Feminist Studies submitted a report to the CEDAW Pre-Sessional Working Group’s List of Issues on Egypt. We highlighted 3 main issues: Sexual and Gender-based violence and Violence against Women legislation, the targeting of WHRD, and the impact of COVID on women’s rights.  

July 29, 2020: The Right Livelihood Foundation and Nazra for Feminist Studies submitted a briefing paper to the CEDAW, the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) and the UN Special Procedures on violence against women, on the growing systemic inclination to largely target women in Egypt, highlighting the increase of sexual violence in Egypt from 2005 to the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.  

July 18, 2020: The Right Livelihood Foundation released a statement condemning the decision of the Egyptian court to reject Hassan’s appeals to lift the travel ban imposed on her and the asset freeze imposed on Nazra.  

May 27, 2020: 13 Swedish MPs addressed a letter to David Schenker, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Near Eastern Affairs just after the anniversary of the unjust imprisonment of WHRD in Saudi Arabia. The Right Livelihood Foundation submitted a letter of concern to the relevant UN Special Procedures on the matter.  

March 12, 2020: During the 43rd session of the Human Right Council, the Right Livelihood Foundation delivered an oral statement expressing concern over the criminalisation of civil society representatives in Egypt under case 173/2011, highlighting the specific case of Hassan.