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Egypt: Aisha Al-Shater transferred to prison hospital after health deteriorates

September 6, 2019 at 1:24 pm

Aisha Al-Shater [HRW]

Aisha Khairat Al-Shater has been transferred to Al-Qanater Prison hospital after her health continues to deteriorate in the one metre square cell in which she is being held in solitary confinement.

The daughter of the deputy leader of the Muslim Brotherhood Khairat Al-Shater began an open hunger strike in mid-August in protest against her prison conditions.

The international rights organisation We Record has documented the deterioration of her health inside the prison where she has been exposed to electric shocks, is forced to wear thin prison clothes despite the cold, is denied the ability to exercise and forced to sleep on the floor.

In June Aisha told an Egyptian court that she is using her pocket as a toilet since she is allowed out of her cell just once a day to use the bathroom. She has no access to a shower and is not being provided with sanitary products.

In violation of Egyptian law, Aisha has been banned from receiving visitors, including her children.

Aisha was arrested along with her husband, the lawyer and spokesperson for the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) Mohamed Abu Huraira, in November 2018, forcibly disappeared and tortured inside the National Security Service in Abbasiya in Cairo.

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That night a total of 19 human rights activists were arrested including 60-year-old human rights activist and lawyer Hoda Abdelmonem.

Since then Aisha has been accused of a raft of terror charges, yet We Record maintains that her detention is unfounded and comes within the context of the regime’s ongoing repression against women:

There are no legitimate penal reasons for such practices by the Egyptian authorities other than its desire to punish women prisoners and destroy their morale.

Ola Al-Qaradawi, daughter of Sheikh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, also announced she would begin a hunger strike in July after being returned to solitary confinement despite a court order to release her.

Naglaa Mokhtar, co-founder of Eye Witness Human Rights Activists and International Law who helped women and children in need, was arrested from Cairo airport in September last year.

She told her husband that she has been raped by police with a wooden stick and beaten. She is also being held in solitary confinement and denied medical care.

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We Record has stressed that “social isolation resulting from solitary confinement is considered a death penalty against the detainee as social isolation and the associated sensory deprivation negatively affect the detainee’s body.”

According to the organisation 2,761 women have been tortured and degraded in various detention centres since the July 2013 coup.