Cairo 8th November 2008
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information today released a statement expressing their deep concern About the harassment suffered by Kareem Amir in the Borg Al Arab prison in the Alexandria desert, and About the sharp deterioration in the health of prison of conscience Mosaad Abu Fajr, who was unable to stand during the visit of ANHRI lawyers to the prison on 6th November.
Rawda Ahmed, lawyer at the Legal Aid Unit for Freedom of Expression at ANHRI and Gamal Eid, executive director visited Kareem Amir on the occasion of the second anniversary of his imprisonment and to check on the health of blogger Mosaad Abu Fajr at Borg Al Arab. The lawyers were surprised by the harassment by the state security officer who runs the prison, which started with the confiscation of government and independent newspapers brought in by them for the prisoners of conscience Kareem and Mosaad, delaying the visit for four hours, forcing lawyers and prisoners to sit on the ground surrounded by four policemen, and only allowing each visit to last for ten minutes.
The officer insisted that the visits to Amir and Abu Fajr be made separately, repeating “I can do so and so….., the law says so and so …… and I decided to do so and so ……” more than a dozen times to prove his power over the lawyers and prisoners, and even over the other prison officers, who expressed dissatisfaction with the conduct of the officer who seems to be suffering from paranoid delusions and imagining himself to be the Napoleon Bonaparte of Borg Al Arab State!
Despite the harassment which was intended to discourage lawyers from completing the visit, they were determined to reassure themselves About Amir and Abu Fajr. The lawyers were shocked to find that Abu Fajr could neither stand nor walk without the aid of fellow detainee and prisoner of conscience Yehia Abu Nasira, due to the twenty days of the hunger strike he is on to demand improvement of conditions and his own release.
Gamal Eid, lawyer and director of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information said “There is no law governing this prison, any new state security officer can run it by his own laws. This is a matter of shame to the ministry of the interior which leaves prisoners as the victims of officers who have no respect for the law, so they deem mentally unwell!.”
AHNRI reiterated the demands of lawyers in Egypt that prison administration should be moved from the ministry of the interior to the ministry of justice, in order that the rule of law can be maintained and to ensure the protection of the lives of prisoners who may otherwise be in danger, as a result of the complete lack of accountability over the state security officers who have complete control over every aspect of prison life.
To read Kareem Amir’s message:
Information on Kareem’s case:
Information on Mosaad Abu Fajr: