As the Egyptian authorities have intensified its repression of political opponents and increasingly restricted space for free expression over the last decade, the arrest rates of women in particular have been rising consistently. Although subject to the same overarching conditions of detention as men, women prisoners experience unique forms of harassment, abuse, and humiliation — and yet, their cases receive less attention in the media and are allocated fewer resources by civil society and human rights organizations dedicated to campaigning for the release of political prisoners.
On December 5, 2023, during the 16 Days of Activism for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) hosted a timely conversation ahead of Egypt’s presidential elections with TIMEP Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow Solafa Magdy who reflected on her experience as a former political prisoner in Egypt, imprisoned for her journalistic coverage of the regime; the unique challenges and abuses that women prisoners face; and the ways torture and imprisonment affect women for years beyond their detention. Alongside Sara Mohamed and Samar ElHusseiny, and moderated by Jeje Rajab, Magdy shed light on the Egyptian regime’s systematic and gendered tactics to silence women political activists, and the implications this has for women prisoners, their families, and Egyptian society as a whole.
This event will took place primarily in Arabic with live English interpretation.
أحوال سجون النساء في مصر: انتهاكات خلف القضبان
بينما تطال حملات القمع التي تشنها السلطات المصرية جميع فئات المصريين، تواجه النساء داخل السجون نوعية فريدة من الإهانة والإساءة والاعتداء. وبالرغم من ازدياد عدد النساء المعتَقَلات على مر السنوات، لا تلقى معاناتهن اهتمامًا كبيرًا في وسائل الإعلام، كما يحصلن، في المجمل، على دعم أقل من منظمات حقوق الإنسان والمجتمع المدني المهتمة بحقوق السجناء السياسيين
في إطار حملة “16 يوم نشاط” لمناهضة العنف ضد المرأة، ومع انطلاق الانتخابات الرئاسية في مصر، يستضيف معهد التحرير لسياسات الشرق الأوسط حوارًا مع سولافة مجدي، الباحثة الزميلة بمعهد التحرير في زمالة باسم صبري للديمقراطية، حول تجربتها كسجينة سياسية سابقة أعتُقلت على خلفية عملها الصحفي. تناقش سولافة التحديات والمصاعب التي تواجهها النساء داخل السجون من إساءة وتعذيب، وكذلك الآثار المدمرة لتجربة السجن التي تظل تلازم السجينات حتى بعد تحررهن. يلقي الحوار الضوء أيضًا على استخدام النظام المصرى لتكتيكات معدة خصيصًا لإسكات الناشطات وعواقبها على أسرهن وعلى المجتمع المصري ككل
يُعقد الحوار يوم الثلاثاء 5 ديسمبر في الساعة 6 م بتوقيت القاهرة، بمشاركة سارة محمد و سمر الحسيني و تدير الحوار جيجي رجب . سيجري الحوار باللغة العربية مع وجود ترجمة إنجليزية فوري
Watch the discussion in Arabic here:
Solafa Magdy (سولافة مجدي)Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow, the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP)
Solafa Magdy is TIMEP’s ninth Bassem Sabry Democracy Fellow, where her mandate focuses on women in Egypt’s prisons. Solafa is an Egyptian journalist and human rights defender; she was imprisoned for almost two years in jail in Egypt for her journalistic work and defense of human rights. In 2020, she won the prestigious Courage in Journalism Award from the International Women’s Media Foundation (IWMF) and was spotlighted by the Washington Post Press Freedom Partnership. She has faced threats, harassment, and detention simply for reporting the truth and holding the powerful to account. Solafa has previously worked for a number of national and international outlets.
Sara Mohamed (سارة محمد)Researcher and Human Rights Advocate
Sara Mohamed has been a researcher at the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) for the last 8 years. Ms. Mohamed has 12 years of on-the-ground experience in grassroots organizing, human rights research and documentation, and advocacy campaigns. Her work with families and victims has provided her with unique expertise in documenting human rights violations and data collection. In this past decade, she has worked on torture, extrajudicial killings, abuses in dentation centers, and enforced disappearances. Her expert opinion on the political and human rights situations in Egypt have been featured in the New York Times, The Washington Post, The Guardian, Le Monde, among other international news and media outlets. Ms. Mohamed had collaborated in different capacities with international organizations such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reprieve.
Jeje Mohamed (جيجي رجب)Journalist & Media Safety Advisor
Jeje Mohamed has over nine years of experience working on human rights issues, journalism, and safety and security in the Middle East and internationally. Before joining PEN America, she was a Next-Gen Safety Trainers fellow with the International Women’s Media Foundation, developing more inclusive and trauma-informed safety and security training. She managed several campaigns and programs focusing on sex trafficking, racial disparities, and human rights violations in Egypt and exile. She led and took part in the production of documentaries focusing on social issues and founded Witness Magazine that covered human rights abuses in Egypt and the Middle East. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the American University in Cairo in multimedia journalism and international relations and completed a graduate degree in international media focusing on human rights and democracy in areas of conflict as an OSF Civil Society Leadership Award Fellow at American University.
Samar ElHusseiny (سمر الحسيني)Programs Officer, Egyptian Human Rights Forum (EHRF)
Samar is an Egyptian human rights defender, and programs officer in Egyptian Human Rights Forum ( EHRF). She previously worked as MENA & Turkey Research and Engagement coordinator in Coalition For Women In Journalism and as executive director for Andalus Institute for Tolerance and Anti-Violence Studies. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in political science and two Master’s degrees in international law, human rights, and international management.