Yara Sallam is an Egyptian feminist and a woman human rights defender. She is a lawyer and an expert for many Egyptian and international organisations specialised in human rights such as the Egyptian Initiative for Personal rights (EIPR) or the African Commission for human and people’s rights.
She is particularly involved in the field of women’s rights by working for the effectiveness of their civil and political rights as well as to free them from the sexual violence they suffered.
Yara Sallam has been arrested while demonstrating against the implement of an Egyptian law that reduces freedom to protest in Egypt. Her arrest occurs while she was on the sidelines of the event.
The day of her arrest, 23 others demonstrators were also arrested, six of them were also women.
Police ended the peaceful protest by using tear gas. Some detainees have reported insults and ill treatments committed by police. Participants of the event were convicted for violating the law about public demonstration, for damages on public property, for possession of flammable materials and for taking part in a demonstration aimed to terrorize the population.
On December 28 2014, Yara Sallam was sentenced to two years in prison. This conviction was accompanied by police surveillance for a period of two years from her release from prison.
Even from her cell, Yara Sallam continued to defend vulnerable women who have been detained or imprisoned. She was released in September 2015 thanks to a presidential pardon.
The Special Rapporteur, jointly with other Special Rapporteurs, including the Special Rapporteur on freedom of expression, sent a communication (only available in English) to the State of Egypt to inform it about the violations suffered by Yara Sallam and four other women human rights defenders.