Monem, 23 Other Detainees On Hunger Strike

Blogger and journalist Abdel Monem Mahmoud and 23 other detained students from the Institute of Agricultural Engineering threatened to begin a hunger strike on Tuesday May 8, to protest their inhumane imprisonment conditions and the endless cycle of intimidations by criminal prisoners which reached to the point of sexual harassment, and the disgraceful inaction by the prison administration.

In a statement released by Monem and other political detainees on Monday, they demanded their immediate release and dropping all the trumped up charges against them, accusing the prison administration of adopting a new strategy of psychological torture by allowing and encouraging criminal prisoners to intimidate and harass them.

Among the list of other inhumane imprisonment conditions the statement cited are,

1-Confinment for 23 hours a day in overcrowded cells where an average of 22 inmates are kept in 10x22 feet cells infested with bugs with only one extremely filthy bathroom to share.

2-Numerous assaults by criminal prisoners and thugs, including sexual harassment and verbal abuse.

3-Use of illegal drugs inside prison cells by criminals and drug dealers, and the produced smoke which makes it very difficult to even breath an already polluted air, in addition to extremely foul language and screaming all night by intoxicated thugs which became a source of psychological agony.

4-Poor medical care in handling life threatening and contagious medical conditions, including skin diseases and HIV. Four cases of chicken pox and measles were denied appropriate care and hospital admission.

The statement also complained that the students who were mostly preparing for their final exams, surrendered their school books to the prison administration in protest, since it became impossible for them to study in such awful environment

The statement concluded by calling on the Attorney General, the National Council on Human Rights and all human rights groups to intervene to protect the life and dignity of the students.

Attorney Islam Lotfy stated to Ikhwanweb that the “Al Mahkom” prison where Monem and his fellow political prisoners are kept is designated for the most vicious criminals and known for its inhumane conditions. He added that several cases of TB and HIV have been detected among prisoners and the government apparent lack of action and poor medical care inside the prison put his clients’ life in danger.

According to Lotfy, several complaints have been filed to the prison administration and government officials to keep political detainees separate from criminal prisoners but nothing was done. The government seems to be adopting a new strategy by letting others do their dirty work by inflicting psychological torture on its political opponents who have been detained only for their views and opinions.

Monem was arrested on April 15 along group of students from the Institute of Agricultural Engineering and charged with belonging to an illegal organization [MB] and by reporting information that defame the regime and threaten national security.

For more information, please contact,

-Islam Lotfy, Kawakby Foundation For Democracy and Development at 002-010-7717450 (mobile)

-Mohammad Ghozlan, at 002-010-2040116 (mobile)

IkhwanWeb

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