CAIRO: An NGO has drawn attention to the experiences of Sudanese nationals held in Egypt’s El-Qanater Prison after a group of Sudanese detainees allegedly organized a protest in the prison last month.
El-Qanater, approximately an hour from central Cairo, holds non-Egyptian detainees and prisoners.
The Center for Contemporary Sudan Studies (CCSS) says that there are currently 64 Sudanese nationals being held in El-Qanater, including 36 detained for crossing a border illegally and eight on security charges.
CCSS draws attention to two cases, those of El-Tayyeb Ibrahim Hassan – or ‘Teif’ as he is known – and Adel Hassan Suleiman, both from Darfur.
While Teif Hassan has now left Egypt, Adel Suleiman remains in detention without charge.
Hassan was imprisoned in an Israeli prison for more than four years after illegally crossing the border from Egypt at the end of 2005.
According to the statement, Hassan claims that he was handed over to the Egyptian authorities by Israel and interrogated in Al-Arish in the presence of officials from the Sudanese embassy.
Suleiman, a Sudanese-Canadian national, was stopped at the Cairo International Airport at the end of July “because he was traveling directly to Israel from Cairo.
Suleiman, in his 30s, is originally from the Darfur region but currently resides in Canada. He was formerly a fighter with the Sudanese Liberation Army and was in Egypt as part of an official visit to Cairo, Rome and Tel Aviv.
Suleiman was arrested on charges of “cooperating with Israel and working on its behalf. He is being detained, the statement says, because the Egyptian authorities accuse him of planning acts of sabotage in the future.
According to the statement the Egyptian authorities have not acknowledged Suleiman’s Canadian nationality and are treating him as a Sudanese national, but the Sudanese embassy in Cairo has not recognized him.
Suleiman was transferred to El-Qanater Prison from a state security investigations facility where, the statement says, his health sharply deteriorated.
“Adel was stopped for no reason other than the fact that he is Sudanese and was headed for Israel . [He] asks whether he is the first person to head to Tel Aviv from an Arab capital? Or are Sudanese nationals accused of hostility towards Egypt merely for the fact that they are traveling to another country?