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Egypt journalist repeatedly sexually assaulted in prison

February 2, 2021 at 1:12 pm

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

Detained journalist Solafa Magdy’s lawyer has submitted a complaint to the Egyptian attorney general to say that his client has repeatedly been physically and sexually assaulted.

One of the attacks saw Solafa hit until she suffered heavy vaginal bleeding and stripped of all her clothes and dragged across the floor.

She was arrested in November 2019 along with her husband, photojournalist Hossam Al-Sayyad, and their friend and journalist Mohamed Salah from a café in the Dokki neighbourhood of Cairo.

Friends and colleagues maintain they were targeted because they are friends of political prisoner Israa Abdelfattah who was also kidnapped from a street in the capital and because of their journalistic work.

Solafa suffers from a high platelet count and has been tortured whilst in custody.

She is being detained in Al-Qanater women’s prison where security forces recently stormed the wing where political prisoners are being held and beat and assaulted them.

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Their arrest came amid a sweeping crackdown during the September 2019 protests called for by whistleblower Mohammed Ali against corruption in the Sisi regime.

Solafa and Hossam have a seven-year-old son who has not seen his parents for over a year. They were charged with spreading false news and joining a terror organisation in the same case Israa was held under.

Solafa wrote about human rights, minorities, social unrest, education, sexual harassment and migration.

As freelancers, Solafa and Hossam had little financial backing yet were putting their lives in danger to bring reports to the world.

Egypt is one of the top three jailers of journalists in the world, alongside Turkey and China.

According to Madr Masr, before their arrest the couple were constantly being stopped by police and other citizens because they didn’t like the outlets they were working for, which were mainly foreign media.

Rights watchdog Amnesty International has demanded that Egypt release Solafa Magdy, a call which has been echoed by Reporters without Borders.