“The Vermont Girl.” Human Rights Watch criticizes the “inaction” of the Egyptian authorities
In a letter addressed to the Egyptian Public Prosecutor, Hamada El Sawy, on Monday, Amnesty International “Amnesty International” conveyed its fear about the situation of the detained Egyptian journalist, Sulafa Magdy.
The organization revealed that, based on a complaint submitted by Magdy’s lawyers at the court session, which took place on January 19, it became clear that the journalist had been subjected to numerous harassment, while she had not seen her seven-year-old son for a while.
Magdy also complained about her husband, the arrested journalist, Hussam al-Sayyad.
In addition, detainee #SulafaMagdy addressed the court in her last hearing and said that she was being beaten, stripped naked, and dragged on the ground by the hands of the prison administration.
– We Record (@WeRecordEN) February 8, 2021
Sulafa said that one of the interrogators harassed her during the interrogation with her, without going into details, while Amnesty International said that she believes that the harassment Magdy spoke about “may amount to torture,” according to what Magdy said before a judge in one of the hearings, where she revealed that ” She was violently stripped of her clothes by a prison guard and dragged by force to the prisoner transport van to the courts.
Amid international condemnations … Egyptian authorities imprison 3 journalists for “spreading false news”
She also told the court that she underwent a forced pelvic exam on August 30, 2020, which led to severe bleeding, especially since she had previously undergone a tumor resection in the uterus.
Fears about the health of the Egyptian journalist increased after her mother’s visit to the prison on 27 January, when her daughter appeared weak and unable to walk without support.
Slafa Magdy has been “arbitrarily detained”, since November 26, 2019, with her husband Hossam El-Sayyad and journalist Mohamed Salah, according to the organization.
In its letter, Amnesty International called for “the immediate and unconditional release of Sulafa Majdi, Hussam Al-Sayyad and Mohamed Salah, and the opening of an immediate, independent, impartial and effective investigation into the complaints that she filed.”
The “Amnesty” stressed the need to open an investigation immediately, and to allow Majdy regular access to health care “including transportation to outside facilities to receive treatment not available inside the prison.”
According to the organization, the three detainees are under investigation by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, a special branch of the Public Prosecution office responsible for prosecuting crimes related to “state security”, as part of a case related to the anti-government protests in 2019.
Magdy and her husband face charges of “joining a terrorist group” and “spreading false news.”
On August 30, 2020, Magdy appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution for questioning regarding a “new” case, where she was charged with “joining a terrorist group”, “spreading and spreading false rumors” and “misusing social media.”
When asked about the charges, Magdy exercised her right to remain silent.
In response to the Prosecutor’s question about the reason for her silence, she indicated that she does not see a difference between this investigation and her preliminary investigation into similar charges related to the first case.
According to information gathered by Amnesty International, the plaintiffs based their accusations against Magdy and the other prisoners of conscience mainly on the NSA investigation files, which the defendants and their lawyers were not allowed to examine.
In recent months, the State Security Prosecution has been increasingly ignoring court or prosecutor decisions to release detainees held for prolonged pre-trial periods, by issuing new detention orders that include similar charges, according to the organization’s letter.
According to “Amnesty International”, Sulafa Majdi previously faced discriminatory treatment in Qanater Women’s Prison, as prison authorities prevented her mother from sending her money, food and disinfectants from 12 to 29 April 2020, while other prisoners were allowed to receive parcels from their relatives during the same period.
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Moreover, unlike most other prisoners in Qanater Prison, Slafa Magdy was unable to send or receive messages while prison visits were suspended due to the Corona epidemic.
On February 1, 2021, the Ministry of the Interior published a statement denying what it described as the “allegations” of Sulafa Majdi, that she had been ill-treated and in poor health.
The Ministry blamed the Muslim Brotherhood for publishing false information, while the request of its lawyer to refer her to a forensic doctor to examine her injuries was not approved.
Since President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi came to power, the authorities have suppressed independent reporting, arbitrarily blocked hundreds of websites, raided or closed the offices of at least nine media outlets, and arbitrarily detained dozens of journalists, according to the organization’s assessment.