Sister of activist Alaa Abdel Fattah and parents of Regeni attack EU’s human rights policy towards Egypt
This is also available in: العربية (Arabic) متوفر ايضا باللغة
Translated and edited by: Committee for Justice
Geneva: October 31, 2021
Mona Seif, human rights defender and sister of the detained Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, and the parents of Giulio Regeni, the Italian master’s student who was killed in Egypt as a result of torture in 2016, have delivered testimonies before members of the European Parliament’s Subcommittee on Human Rights.
Violations and push to commit suicide:
At the beginning of her testimony, the Egyptian human rights defender, Mona Seif, said that her brother had been subjected to severe inhumane conditions for more than two years without any proper investigation or actions from any official bodies.
Seif indicated that her brother was prevented from possessing books, or accessing news, and was also prohibited from exercise time outside his cell, which means that over the past 25 months, he was in his cell locked up 24/7, and was not allowed out of his cell unless there was a family visit or if he appeared in court.
Abdel Fattah’s sister stated that he had suicidal thoughts as a result of the inhumane conditions in which he was living and expressed this to lawyers and during the few family visits. She added that many complaints were submitted against a National Security officer in Tora prison known as Ahmed Fikri, (whose real name may be Walid Al-Dahshan, according to Seif), to the Public Prosecution and the Public Prosecutor, but to no avail.
Seif explained that any complaint related to prison violations is rejected. Egyptian law and prison regulations are systematically and daily violated, she added, pointing out that there has been at least one incident of an attempted suicide in Tora prison, including the case of Mohamed Oxygen, a former journalist who also faced the State Security trial in the same case in which her brother tried to commit suicide two months ago and was rescued in the cell by his cellmate, and many deaths occurred due to medical negligence or the prison authorities’ ignoring the cries of other prisoners on several different occasions.
Demands to transfer Abdel Fattah to another prison:
Seif demanded that her brother be transferred to another prison, and that urgent action is taken regarding that prison and its management that pushes prisoners to commit suicide or lose their minds.
Seif stressed that there is a feud between the officer who runs the prison and her brother. Abdel Fattah is accused of spreading rumors by his re-publishing of an online post about the death of a prisoner named Hossam in high-security prison No. 2. The post mentioned the name of the officer who is still in charge, and who has been targeting Abdel Fattah personally with violations over the past two years.
EU’s words and few actions:
Meanwhile, the parents of Regeni testified before the committee, expressing their solidarity with the Egyptian people, calling on the committee to support justice for their son.
Regeni’s parents confirmed that despite several attempts with the EU and its agencies, they found “only words and not many actions,” and added that no real action was taken as a result of all their efforts.
Regeni’s parents added: “The situation in Egypt is very worrying from the human rights point of view. This is a point which has been said by the UN and indeed the EU and we have complained about the Italian government. There is a law which is 185/90. We feel that this government has not respected this article. It’s an article which bans the sale of arms to countries that do not respect human rights. This is a principle which most European and non-European countries ignore: all sorts of fairs and exhibitions are organized, and they’re sponsored by the companies established in European countries.”