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Egypt renews detention of mother of 2-year-old

Activist Marwa Araf [Twitter]
Activist Marwa Araf [Twitter]

Egyptian authorities have renewed Marwa Arafa’s detention for 15 days pending investigation.

Marwa was forcibly disappeared from her home on 20 April after four masked policemen stormed her home at around 11.30pm.

She eventually reappeared before state security prosecutors who accused her of “joining a terrorist group” and carrying out a “terror-funding crime”, typical charges levelled against political prisoners.

Marwa is a translator and management consultant with no political affiliations, according to Human Rights Watch.

Her husband, Tamer Muwafi, said that Marwa’s focus over the last several years was their two-year-old daughter: “For a long time, Marwa has had no hand in anything. Her life has revolved around her daughter Wafa. Yet amid the difficult circumstances that we are in, they have not left us alone. They took Marwa from her daughter and we don’t know where she is.”

READ: Egypt: Doctor who criticised PM arrested

Despite not being politically active for five years, in the past, Marwa was an advocate for the rights of child prisoners and worked as a coordinator for the charity Free the Children which focused on minors at protests.

In 2015 she helped organise the “We have had enough” campaign and alongside detained human rights lawyer Mahienour El-Massry and Alaa Abdelfattah starting an open-ended hunger strike calling on the government to repeal the protest law and release political prisoners.

Women Against the Coup has recently published a list of 145 Egyptian women who have been detained largely due to their political orientation.

The report detailed the psychological, health and physical violations that women are exposed to inside prison.

The renewal of Marwa’s sentence places her in the endless cycle of pretrial detention so many political prisoners are subject to in Egypt today.

Amnesty has talked about the Egyptian authorities’ growing use of the revolving door strategy. Court orders to release detainees are bypassed and they are imprisoned on new cases based on fabricated charges making their incarceration indefinite.

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