After State Security Prosecution’s arbitrariness and Tora Prison’s harassment against prisoner of conscience Gamal Abdel-Fattah because of his adherence to the rule of law, who cares about prisoners of conscience in Egypt?

Cairo, 16 July 2018

The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) said the authorities at Tora Prison (Agriculture cell) are still practicing their intransigence and harassment against leftist pharmacist prisoner of conscience Gamal Abdel-Fattah, 70, by denying him access to the prison hospital or writing a medical report on his health condition, based on decisions by the Supreme State Security Prosecution.

During his imprisonment renewal hearing, convened yesterday (15 July 2018), Gamal Abdel Fattah’s lawyers from ANHRI were surprised at his inability to move; as he has had a severe attack of acute bronchitis and been suffering breathing problems while in jail since 12 July. The prison’s administration refused to send him to the hospital or even let the prison’s doctor see him. And because he was insisting on his legal right to remain silent during interrogation before the head of the State Security Prosecution, Ahmed Abdel Khalek- until after the Public Prosecution investigated into the complaints which he filed with regard to the harassment he has been subjected to- the aforementioned chief prosecutor refused to record or write down the lawyers’ requests instead of opening an investigation into his complaints, in a way to punish Dr.Gamal for holding fast to his legal right. It’s worth mentioning that the complaints lodged by the leftist pharmacist include; being deprived from entering the prison’s library, denying an access to the books and newspapers, as well as being jailed among convicted prisoners, being banned from having an exercise for a period of time; this is in addition to the complaint he filed against the backdrop of his abduction by the security forces and his detention for seven days under no legal ground.

On 28 February 2018 dawn, a number of security personnel, both in uniform and plain clothes, broke into the house of D r. Jamal Abdel Fattah at Hadayek Al-Ahram district, and took him to unknown location. He had remained disappeared until he appeared on the 8th of March 2018 at the State Prosecution, which interrogated him on charges of; establishing a terrorist group, promoting its views on the social networking website “Facebook”, and spreading false news and data. Abdel-Fattah then became a prisoner of conscience who is held on remand pending case No. 482 of 2018 State Security.

ANHRI said, “We understand the history of antagonism between prisoners of conscience and the Interior Ministry because it usually cracks down on them. However, when the State Security Prosecutor pours itself into this antagonism and become the closest antagonist to defendants, then who can represent or protect prisoners of opinion in Egypt?.”

ANHRI called upon the authorities to implement the articles of the Constitution and the law that guarantees proper due process during interrogation with Gamal Abdel Fattah as well as all prisoners of conscience. It also demanded to open a prompt investigation with Tora prison’s administration (Tora Agricultural Prison) for not carrying out the decisions of the State Security, including referring the defendant to the hospital and making a medical report on his health condition. ANHRI also holds the Ministry of the Interior and the Supreme State Security Prosecution fully responsible for the deterioration of Dr. Gamal Abdel Fattah’s health.