An Alexandria juvenile misdemeanour court sentenced 78 minors to two to five years in prison on Wednesday, according to Freedom for the Brave, an initiative that provides support for detainees.
The minors are accused of being members of the Muslim Brotherhood and of participating in unauthorised protests.
Some of the children sentenced in Alexandria released a statement Wednesday claiming that they have been exposed to a number of violations in their detention including the beating of any prisoner that decides to go on hunger strike, cutting time allowed for studying by half, over-searching the books and reading everything written on the margins of the pages.
The statement added that children have been treated worse after they first reported violations to media and to international rights organisations.
“We used to demand that we be separated from Criminal detainees and now they are treated even better than we are,” the statement read.
Sixteen-year-old Ibrahim Reda is one of those sentenced to two years in prison. According to another online initiative meant to combat the “Crisis of Child Detainees in Egypt,” Reda suffers from health conditions that include difficulties in hearing and seeing.
This means he “physically cannot bear the burden of prison,” the group stated.
Islam Hamed, another detained teenager, has been on hunger-strike for over six days in protest of his detention.
According to the online database WikiThawra, Egyptian security forces have arrested over 41,000 people since the military ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.