Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt: Umm Zubeida cuts off her hair in protest of continued detention

August 5, 2019 at 12:54 pm

Umm Zubeida, the mother of Zubeida Ibrahim Yousef, who was arrested after publicly speaking about the disappearance and rape of her daughter by Egyptian security forces [Facebook]

Umm Zubeida has cut her hair off and gone on hunger strike to protest against the decision by Egyptian authorities to return her to prison and keep her arbitrarily detained, according to the international rights platform We Record.

Mona Mahmoud has been in custody since March 2018. She has been accused of joining an illegal group, the Muslim Brotherhood, and publishing and broadcasting false news that could harm the country’s interests after she spoke to the BBC about her daughter’s forcible disappearance by Egypt’s security service.

In April 2017 neighbours reported seeing her 23-year-old daughter Zubeida Ibrahim being forced into a police vehicle by armed and masked men whilst her brother was out of the house. Ibrahim had already disappeared once in 2016.

At the end of July a Cairo criminal court ordered Umm Zubeida’s release but she was returned to prison for a fourth time over the same charges.

We Record: 2,761 women tortured and degraded since Egypt coup

Hundreds of political prisoners are on hunger strike in the Scorpion wing of Tora Prison after exhausting all means of appeal against their prison conditions. Detainees are kept in overcrowded cells, regularly tortured and banned from seeing family or their lawyers.

When Ola, the daughter of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, was returned to prison at the beginning of July she told the prosecutor that she would start an open-ended hunger strike until she was unconditionally released.

We Record has documented thousands of violations against women in Egypt since the 3 July 2013 coup, despite the fact that their arrest and maltreatment was seen as a red line by previous administrations.

According the group, 2,629 women have been arbitrarily arrested and detained and 127 women are still in prison; 2,761 women who have been tortured and degraded in various detention centres across the country.