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“We need a correspondence” To what extent can we reduce our hopes!

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

The overall picture right now in Egypt can be clearly reflected in the extent of decline of demands of those who were viewed as the coming leaders for the new, hoped for,  post-revolution Egypt. Hopes and demands have  been continuously reducing and declining, from demanding to establish a democratic state, to demanding a State that does not kill its own citizens, demanding freedom for citizens who have been imprisoned pending absurd cases, until finally we come down to only demanding to receive a three lines letter or a correspondence to check on their safety.

This decline or reduction in demands is exactly what happened to Seif’s Family. Alaa Abd El-Fatah can be called “prisoner of all generations” as he has been imprisoned during the reigns of Mubarak, the Supreme Council for Armed Forces, The Muslim Brotherhood Regime, military Council, the Interim President Adly Mansour, and the current President Abd El-Fatah El-Sisi. He is the eldest son of human right advocate. Mr. Ahmed Seif el-Islam one of the Founders of Legal aid and Hesham Mubarak Centers who is considered to be for many human rights activists in Egypt a godfather. Alaa is also the son of Professor Laila Sueif, the famous political activist who is one of the founders of “Movement for Independence of Universities” association (9th of March Movement) and Anti-Torture Egyptian Association and he is the older brother of activists Mona and Sanaa Seif. This family is known as the “Holy Family” for its continuous struggle against successive Egyptian authorities and its continuous imprisonment in different generations and reigns.

Alaa is imprisoned pending a State Security Prosecution absurd case in which its allegations are non-substantive and vague and with no evidence. Alaa’s Family announced that he went on a hunger strike to protest the Egyptian authorities decision to close prisons and prevent visits to fight the spread of Corona Virus in addition to renewing his detention in absentia without neither his nor his attorney’s attendance in a clear violation of laws. Alaa’s Family protested peacefully near the Cabinet headquarters and the House of Representatives Council to demand the release of prisoners for fear of the spread of Corona virus in prisons.  However, security forces arrested them, referred them to Qasr El-Nile Prosecution, and charged them with spreading false news, which later released Laila Suief, Ahdaf Suief, Rabab Al-Mahdi and Mona Seif on bail of 5 thousand Egyptian Pounds.

While prison visits continued to be banned and as the prison rejected to deliver any hygiene tools to Alaa. Alaa’s family declared that he went on a hunger strike to protest banning prison visits, and an official report was filed under the No. of 2610 for the year 2020 Administrative Maadi, and the report was referred to Maadi Prosecution to which Turra prison 2 is affiliated and where Alaa is being held as a prisoner on the 13th of April.

Two months after these events and as no real change occurred, and while prison visits continued to be banned and as Alaa’s family were not allowed to communicate in anyway with him, Dr. Laila Suief decided to sit-in in front of Turra Prison to demand a correspondence from her son whom she could not see for three months due to prison visits ban, and did not hear from since his last correspondence three weeks ago. During her sit-in, Dr. Laila Suief was harassed to force her to move away from the prison’s perimeter, and just after that, her two daughters joined her in sitting-in with only one demand “we need a correspondence from Alaa”. Alaa’s Family confirmed that their demand is in conformity with the Prison’s internal regulation.

However, after two days of sitting-in security forces assaulted them, and Mona Seif, Alaa’s sister, described the events as the following: “They sent a group of women after us who assaulted us and robbed us just in front of the prison’s gate, the only thing that was not robbed was my mobile phone as I left it in my car”. She continues, “All of us, me, Sanaa and my mother were dragged along the street, and pulled from my hair, while security forces just stood by and watched. Sanaa was beaten up on her head and her back by wooden sticks. Sanaa took most of the beatings; I was dragged along the street while my mother was beaten up and pushed away”.

On 23 June 2020, Sanaa Abdul Fattah was abducted while waiting with her sister and mother in front of the General Public Prosecutor’s office to report the aforementioned assault incident that occurred while they were trying to get to know any details about Alaa’s current state in prison. Sanaa was abducted in front of the General Public Prosecutor’s office after checking her identity, and security forces officers who were wearing civilian outfits forced her into a small van “Micro bus”.

DAAM Center points out that the continued retaliation approach of the Egyptian Security forces against anyone who represents a symbol of the Egyptian revolution will only result in more distancing between the current regime and the real opposition. This approach should have been at least set aside temporarily in light of the Country’s current circumstances.

DAAM Center asserts that the Public Prosecution’s unwillingness or failure to act against the Executive authorities’ practices towards its opponents and prisoners in general -in addition to its violation of the Egyptian law and constitution- brings about a new dark reality where the judicial authority is not only incapable of investigating these events fairly, but also participates and collaborates directly in these violations. This, in fact, compromises citizens’ faith and trust in justice and judiciary.

DAAM Center recalls Article 99 of the Egyptian Constitution , Chapter Three: Public Rights, Freedoms and Duties, which stated that: “Any assault on the personal freedoms or sanctity of the life of citizens, along with other general rights and freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution and the law, is a crime with no statute of limitations for both civil and criminal proceedings. The injured party may file a criminal suit directly. The state guarantees a fair compensation for those who have been assaulted. The National Council for Human Rights shall inform the prosecutor’s office of any violation of these rights, and also possesses the right to enter into an ancillary civil lawsuit on the side of the injured party at its request. This is as specified within the law.” The law states that violations against rights and freedoms is a crime with no statute of limitations, and gives victims the right to initiate criminal proceedings.

مُتاح أيضًا بـ: العربية (Arabic)

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