Egypt – In prison solidarity is a weapon [ENG]


Some prisoners of the al-Qanater women’s prison will begin a hunger strike in solidarity with a comrade who is being denied her right to receive visits from her children. This is just the latest episode in a long list of abuses being inflicted on prisoners in Egyptian prisons every day.

Many human rights organizations report on torture inflicted in 42 prisons and 282 detention units (another 16 prisons have been built or are under construction), as well as in secret prisons and intelligence services headquarters.

A member of the parliamentary commission for Human Rights has recently revealed official figures from the prison authority, which put the number of prisoners at 100,000, with 10% political prisoners.

Recent data on the regime’s repression are appalling and explain what has been going on in the country since the military took power (we are only reporting a few figures which you can find here):

– Tens of thousands of prisoners including 3,200 children under the age of 18;

– 42 journalists arrested in 2015 alone;

– 464 forced disappearances in 2015 alone;

– 915 confirmed cases of torture;

– 554 prohibitions from leaving the country since 2013;

– 59 civilians on trial in military courts, 38 death penalties.

Here follows communiqué 1 from the prisoners on hunger strike in the women’s prison of al-Qanater.

#Sostieni-sciopero-Qanater #ادعم_اضراب_القناطر

The Egyptian prison system is based on the assertion that ‘prison alone is not sufficient to take revenge on the Egyptian opposition’. In fact, the time spent in prison, forced disappearances and arrests are not sufficient to challenge the movements that are opposing the system, hence the humiliation of prisoners who are being denied basic human rights are set to continue. Sleep deprivation and lack of decent food are just a few examples of the revenge and harassment occurring in Egyptian prisons, which ooze injustice and obscurity. From the prison of AlAqrab to that of AlAzouly, and in all the police detention units, the ‘doctrine’ is the same, especially after the State plans for the construction of more youth prisons instead of houses.

One of these prisons is Al-Qanater, the biggest women’s prison in Egypt, where numerous episodes of negligence concerning the prisoners’ lives have been occurring in quick succession.

For example, the prison direction didn’t lift a finger when it was reported that there were snakes in the cells. The same goes for the restrictions inflicted on political prisoners, their isolation and prohibition from talking with other prisoners.

The latest episode in a long list is that concerning doctor Basma, who is being denied all basic rights and the national security authorities are now also forbidding visits from her family.

For this reason Mahienour and a group of prisoners in the political prisoners cell in AlQanater prison have spread this communiqué (number 1):

Frist communiqué: #Detenute-politiche-AlQanater-scioperano #‏سياسيات_القناطر_مضربات [Al Qanater political prisoners on hunger strike]

Because of what has happened to her, and the prohibition to receive visits by the national security authority, doctor Basma has been on hunger strike for a week now. The prison administration has not dealt with the case so far, and for this reason a group of her comrades has decided to begin a hunger strike in solidarity with her. The prisoners are:

Mahienour Almassry

Rofauda Ibrahim

Alaa Alsayed

Asmaa Sayed Salah

Esraa Khaled

Rana Abdallah

Sara Abdallah

In spite of our political differences and diverse positions, we won’t give up on any prisoner’s rights and therefore we have decided to start hunger strike until doctor Basma is granted the basic human right to see her children.


Posted on 29/07/2016 by hurriya

Translated by act for freedom now!


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