Prisoner of conscience Hisham Jaafar spent three years in pretrial detention, without committing a crime, without being released or brought to trial! Who will put an end to stealing the lives of the innocent in Egypt?

Cairo: 22 October, 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said today that prisoner of conscience and journalist Hisham Jaafar has completed his third year in pretrial detention and began his fourth without a release decision or a fair investigation, and without showing any respect to the provisions of the law, which set the maximum limit for remand detention at two years.

Until today, and despite spending three years since his detention in the notorious maximum-security Scorpion Prison (Al-Aqrab), Jaafar’s lawyers from ANHRI haven’t been allowed to check the case papers yet. His family has also been deprived of visiting him for a whole year, in total disregard and disrespect for all values of human rights.

Jaafar’s fulfillment of his third year in prison coincides with the Ministry of Interior’s claims of respecting prisoners’ rights, airing misleading films about false conditions showing the situation in prisons looking rosy, belittling this time the mind of everyone who keeps an eye on the conditions of prisons and inmates in a period deemed the darkest in Egypt’s history.

Hisham Jafaar, who suffers from an eyesight problem and at risk of renal failure, was arrested on 20 October 2015. And since then he has been enduring arbitrariness and harassment for no reason; his lawyers are denied access to the alleged case file, he is placed in the Scorpion Prison that closely resembles a grave, the Public Prosecution and the courts are wasting his legal right to be released after exceeding the maximum limit set for pretrial detention and concluding the episodes of this tragedy, his family was deprived from visitation for an entire year.

ANHRI publishes this statement so that perhaps any of the decision makers or officials who do respect the law and the Constitution can halt the crackdown on Jafaar; by either releasing him or bringing him to trial if there is an offence attributed to him. But keeping the punishment of a journalist using pretrial detention that lasts for years constitutes, indeed, a slow killing, over which the Public Prosecutor, the Interior Minister and whoever disregards the law and the lives of Egyptians should be held accountable.

For more information about Hisham Jafaar