Troubling information continues to emerge about the conditions under which prisoners are being held in Egypt. Over the weekend, Jeremy Hodge, an American who was recently held in Cairo, issued a press release about his detainment. He and his roommate Hossam al-Meneai were forcibly removed from their apartment and brought to the Dokki police station. There they were denied food for 36 hours and Meneai was severely beaten.
Meneai remains at Dokki police station at the time of this statement.
Similar continued reports have been given of the detainment of Al Jazeera journalist Mohamed Fahmy. Fahmy, along with other Al Jazeera journalists, were arrested on December 29 for operating without a permit. Reports indicate that Fahmy is in poor health, suffering from a previous shoulder injury that has been exacerbated by the troublesome conditions of his detainment; Fahmy is reportedly sleeping on the floor in a lightless room and has been refused medical attention.
The arrests are woefully characteristic of Egypt’s dangerous climate and crackdown on anything that might be construed as political dissent. Fahmy and Meneai are two of only a few journalists that have been targeted in what Amnesty International has declared “escalation in attacks on press freedom since Mohamed Morsi was deposed in July 2013.”
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is extremely concerned about the conditions of these arrests and imprisonments. The actions of the Egyptian authorities indicate serious human rights abuses and are contrary to Articles 7, 10, and 14 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which Egypt ratified on January 14, 1982. The rights that are comprised in these documents apply to any accused person, regardless of their alleged crime.
UPDATE (March 25, 2014): TIMEP welcomes the news that Mohamed Fahmy, who has been continuously denied the medical care he desperately needs, is finally receiving medical aid. Prior reports indicate that Fahmy has lost full use of his arm, injured prior to his detention.
The Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP) is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to raising awareness of democratic transitions in the Middle East through analysis, advocacy, and action.