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Rights groups: 4,000 children arrested in Egypt since coup

Egyptian riot police arrest a protester in Cairo, Egypt, 5 March 2013 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages]
Egyptian police arrest a child in Cairo, Egypt, 2 June 2017 [Tareq al-Gabas/Apaimages, File photo]

Some 4,000 Egyptian children have been arbitrarily detained in Egypt since the 2013 coup, four human rights organisations have revealed.

In a joint statement issued yesterday, the organisations documented 111 arrests against children during the protests which took place on 20 September following a call made by actor and contractor Mohamed Ali. Some as young as 11 years old.

The organisations pointed to “the violations which have been committed against children, who suffered psychological, moral, social and economic abuse, as a result of political reprisals undertaken by the security services against their parents. These children have been denied the necessary family care, following the imprisonment of their parents on political charges, in addition to being prevented from visiting and communicating with them.”

READ: Egypt seeks to parry rights criticism after mass arrests

“Despite the existence of binding legal texts which oblige the government to protect and take care of children, in addition to pay great attention to them in accordance with the provisions in the Egyptian Constitution, national legislation and international conventions, there is no real implementation of those provisions on the ground,” they warned.

The organisations stressed that “the international interest in children’s well-being and protection is not translated by the Egyptian government’s policies, even if Egyptian officials pretend to be interested in the issue. However, the situation on the ground indicates otherwise.”

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