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CFJ monitors the hunger strike of an Egyptian political detainee in Al-Asher prison due to the tragic detention conditions

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Press release

Geneva – January 24, 2024


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has monitored the distressing situation surrounding political detainee Ahmed Orabi, currently held in Al-Asher prison in Egypt. Orabi, aged 38, initiated an open-ended hunger strike to protest the deplorable and inhumane conditions within the prison.

Orabi’s lawyer officially communicated with the Egyptian Public Prosecutor’s Office on July 14, 2023 (Reference No. 33043/2023). The communication highlighted the urgent need for an investigation into reports of torture and severe violations suffered by Orabi during his time at Al-Asher prison. These incidents allegedly occurred after he appeared for a detention renewal session before the First Circuit of the Cairo Criminal Court on June 5, 2023. Orabi, who had been transferred between different prisons, was observed in a distressed state, appearing barefoot and with a shaven head.

Orabi’s ordeal began with his arrest on November 6, 2022, from his residence in Qalyubia Governorate. Accused of posting content on social media, he underwent enforced disappearance and torture at the National Security headquarters in the Shubra area. The Supreme State Security Prosecution subsequently charged him with various offenses, including belonging to a terrorist group, financing terrorism, incitement, and spreading false information.

CFJ strongly condemns the reported violations against Ahmed Orabi in Al-Asher prison, urging an immediate cessation of such practices. The organization calls for a thorough investigation into the responsible parties, emphasizing the need for adherence to international covenants and conventions ratified by Egypt. Furthermore, CFJ advocates for Orabi’s swift release or a fair trial conducted by internationally recognized standards, cautioning against the misuse of pretrial detention as a tool against dissenting voices, activists, and human rights defenders.

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