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Egypt: Neama Hisham forced to delete tweet describing attack on detained husband

April 18, 2023 at 12:25 pm

Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Badr city, Egypt. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Neama Hisham, wife of political prisoner and human rights lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer, has been forced to delete a tweet which described an attack on her husband whilst in detention.

After visiting Mohamed in prison, Neama wrote on Twitter that he had been beaten up after intervening to help a cellmate who was being forced to attend the renewal of his detention.

Mohamed was gagged, stripped of his clothes, forced to sleep on the floor of a cell without any bedding and in the process sustained injuries to his mouth, wrist and ribs.

Shortly after Neama’s post circulated on social media, it was reported that she had been arrested from her home and taken to an unknown location.

She was released later that same day after she was forced to delete the post and apologise for being too “emotional.”

El-Baqer is a human rights lawyer and director of the Adalah Centre for Rights and Freedoms who provided legal assistance to people prosecuted for protesting during the 2011 uprising and offered legal aid to civilians being tried in military courts.

He was arrested in 2019 whilst attending the interrogation of prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, and detained on charges of spreading false news and joining a terror organisation.

READ: Egypt: Wife of detained and tortured human rights lawyer arrested

For years Egyptian authorities have targeted the families of political prisoners through arrest, threats and forcible disappearance in reprisal for their work and in a bid to silence them.

Mohamed is being held in Badr 1 prison, which was recently labelled a “slaughterhouse” by human rights groups because it has seen the largest wave of suicide attempts in Egyptian history.

The Committee for Justice has said that the arrest of Neama is a “serious escalation to the violence against activists and HRDs” at Badr 1 prison.

Several human rights organisations, including El Nadim Centre, the Freedom Initiative and Sinai Foundation for human rights condemned the beating of political activist Ahmed Doma, Mohamed El-Baqer, journalist Muhammad Oxygen and activist Hamid Siddiq.