The detention of a young woman who broadcast a video criticising the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s regime, has been renewed for another 15 days.
“Down with military rule, down with Al-Sisi and all those who collaborate with him, and all those who are too scared to talk because of fear of arrest,” announced Radwa Mohamed.
In a series of videos she posted on YouTube, Radwa criticised Intisar Al-Sisi, wife of the Egyptian dictator, for not standing up to her husband over his repressive policies, the misuse of public funds and the country’s human rights record.
Mohamed’s videos were viewed by tens of thousands of people.
Just before her arrest from her home in November of last year, Mohamed sent a distressed voice message to former army contractor and whistleblower, Mohamed Ali: “Central security is here. They’ve come for us at the coast. Do you hear me? I’m so scared. Central security is here.”
It was Ali who announced that Mohamed had disappeared.
At the time the hashtag “where is Radwa?” was trending in Egypt, as activists criticised the regime’s widespread and systematic use of forcible disappearance.
Her disappearance came at the time the Egyptian government’s human rights record was being reviewed by the United Nations.
Mohamed is being investigated on suspicion of belonging to a terror group, broadcasting false news and misusing social media.
At the time, The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) informed DW: “She has nothing to do with terrorism or illegal groups. She hates the Muslim Brotherhood, but she is angry at poverty and the regime’s false promises.”
Mohamed is being held at Qanater Women’s Prison, where she recently joined a hunger strike along with ten other detainees, including the Egyptian-American teacher Reem Mohamed Desouky and member of the Istiqlal Party, Sahar Ali, to protest against the ill-treatment and inhumane conditions in the prison.
Egypt continues to detain around 60,000 political prisoners. They are subjected to systematic torture and, in particular women, sexual violence including rape, the threat of rape and indecent body searches.
In January of last year, Al-Sisi claimed there were no political prisoners in Egypt, despite the numerous reports from rights groups stating the contrary.