By Emily Crane
Released detainees in Alexandria and representatives of those still in custody held a press conference on Wednesday at the headquarters of the People’s Committee for the Defence of the Revolution in Alexandria.
Among those present was the mother of Hassan Mostafa who has been in custody since 20January. Saeed Ezz Eldin, general coordinator of the People’s Committee for the Defence of the Revolution in Alexandria, claimed Mostafa was “kidnapped” in front of the office of the General Lawyer in Alexandria and taken to prison without being told of the charges against him.
His mother reported that he was being held in solitary confinement in a two square metre cell with no windows and had not been permitted to go outside or see the other detainees for 10 days. He was dressed in a red vest typically reserved for those awaiting the death penalty. These compounded conditions caused him intense psychological turmoil in addition to the physical abuse he received, his mother said.
Also at the press conference was Nour El Jorba, a 20-year-old student at the Faculty of Engineering. He was released three days ago after spending 15 days in prison. With him was a 15-year-old boy named Mohannad. El Jorba and Mohannad testified that they and the other detainees were stripped to their underwear upon arriving at the prison and kept outside for 30 minutes before being given clothes.
All their belongings were taken and never returned to them. They were repeatedly threatened with rape and physical abuse, El Jorba said.
El Jorba confirmed that one of the detainees was Mahmoud Adel, the 14-year-old boy with bone cancer in his left leg. He said that Adel had been subjected to the same physical and psychological abuse and had shown difficulty walking.
Under pressure from activist groups, Adel was released Wednesday morning and all charges against him have been dropped, said Hamdi Khalaf of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights.
However, Abdel Rahman Ramdan, age 13, remains in custody. He was taken during a “random arrest” while attending a protest on 27 January in Semouha, according to his lawyer, Mohammed Hafez.
Khalaf estimated the total number of detainees remaining in custody in Alexandria was as high as 22.