The UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) has said that the arbitrary detention of minors by the Egyptian regime is “systematic and widespread.”
According to a case submitted to the working group by Alkarama, at least 3,200 children have been arrested since the end of June 2013, when the military carried out a coup against the first ever freely-elected Egyptian President, Mohamed Morsi.
It is thought that around 800 children are still in prison, 200 of whom are in the Central Security Camp in Banha, north of Cairo.
Many of these 3,200 children were also tortured and ill-treated or detained with adults.
On the case of Ahmed Mahmoud, the UN Working Group considered that “holding a minor in incommunicado since the date of his arrest for almost a year, without any rights to visit being granted to his family or his lawyer, despite their repeated requests, is generally to be regarded as a violation of article 7 and 9 of the ICCPR [International Covenant on civil and political rights],” which is binding on Egypt by virtue of its ratification in 1982. Consequently, it reported the case to the United Nations Special Rapporteur on Torture.
Alkarama is a Geneva-based, independent human rights organisation established in 2004 to assist all those in the Arab World subjected to, or at risk of, extra-judicial executions, enforced disappearances, torture and arbitrary detention.
Note: This page was updated at 18.15 BST on July 28, 2015 to correct factual discrepencies. An earlier version of this page incorrectly stated that the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) issued a report, when in fact they had issued an Opinion. The figure of 3,200 children comes from the case that Alkarama submitted to the WGAD. The title was also updated to reflect that previously it was a UN report which was issued, where in fact it was just a case submitted by the Alkarma.