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Egypt: Political prisoners in Al-Qanater women’s prison violently assaulted

November 23, 2020 at 10:53 am

A woman in prison, 11 April 2019

The human rights organisation We Record has documented several unprecedented violations inside Al-Qanater women’s prison.

Security forces along with the Chief Inspector stormed the wing where female political prisoners are detained and began beating and assaulting them.

Five detainees, Israa Khaled, Basma Rifat, Sumeya Maher, Nadia Abdul Hadi and Sara Abdullah were transferred to wards where criminal detainees are held.

Security forces confiscated their clothes, medication, food and drinks. They denied other prisoners the right to exercise and threatened them with further violations.

Around two months ago, the prison administration imposed visitor restrictions on detainees Ghada Abdel Aziz, Hala Hammouda, Radwa Abdel Halim and Alia Awad.

READ: UN, several countries denounce arrests of Egyptian activists

Detainees Aisha Al-Shater and Hoda Abdel Moneim – who have just completed two years in pretrial detention in Al-Qanater – are also subject to a visitor ban.

Ola Al-Qaradawi and Sumaya Maher are also banned from receiving visitors.

Earlier this year, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor reported that five of Egypt’s women’s prisons do not abide by “minimum standards of human life” or “meet the minimum conditions for the treatment of prisoners.”

Over 100 female political prisoners are held in Egypt’s jails due to their opposition to the Sisi regime and are systematically subject to psychological, health and physical violations.

They are held in solitary confinement, denied medical care and abused by prison staff and other detainees.

In Egypt, the arrest of women was previously seen as a red line but under the current regime they have been targeted, both for their opposition to the current government and as a way to get to their politically active family members.