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Journalist Solafa Magdy spends 1 year in Egypt prison

Political prisoner and journalist Solafa Magdy [@ganobi/Twitter]
Political prisoner and journalist Solafa Magdy [@ganobi/Twitter]

It has been one year since the arrest and detention of the journalist Solafa Magdy, her husband and their friend.

On 26 November 2019, Solafa, photojournalist Hussam Al-Sayyad and writer Mohamed Salah were arrested from a café in Cairo and accused of spreading false news and joining a banned group.

They are friends of Israa Abdel Fattah who cofounded the April 6 movement in 2008, and who was kidnapped from a street in Cairo in October last year.

Solafa suffers from a high platelet count and has been tortured whilst in custody. Earlier this year it was reported that she was suffering from severe back and knee pain.

She is being held at the notorious Al-Qanater women's prison where reports recently emerged that security forces stormed the wing where political prisoners are detained and began beating and assaulting them.

READ: Grandmother electrocuted on her genitals in Egypt prison

They have been deprived of visitor and exercise rights and have been threatened with further violations.

In May, Solafa was awarded the 2020 Courage in Journalism Award. She specialises in minority and women's rights, refugees and sexual harassment in Egypt.

She founded Everyday Footage, a school which teaches young female journalists reporting skills.

Between July 2013 and July 2019, 2,762 women have been arrested in Egypt and 125 are currently imprisoned as part of the regime's unprecedented crackdown on the population which has not spared women.

Solafa's husband Hossam is being held in the notorious Tora Prison, which has been described as not fit for humans.

Political prisoners in Egypt are systematically tortured, denied medical care and kept in inhuman conditions.

Despite initial indications that Trump's defeat would see better conditions for Egypt's detainees, the arrest last week of three senior employees of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights have led analysts to believe Egypt is actually tightening its crackdown.

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