Former prisoner publicises cellmates’ stories

Daily News Egypt
3 Min Read
Egyptian policemen use a water canon to disperse protesters during a demonstration organized by the group "No Military Trials for Civilians" in front of the Shura council in downtown Cairo on November 26, 2013 against the new law passed the previous day regulating demonstrations in the first unauthorised protest staged in the capital since the adoption of the law. (AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI)

Former detainee and photographer Mohamed Hosny from Alexandria wrote on his detention period on his Facebook page on Tuesday.

Hosny was imprisoned on charges of illegal protesting in front of the Shura Council, and ‘defying the state sovereignty’ for almost one year, but was released as part of a presidential pardon in late September along with 18 other defendants in the same case.

He began his story telling with one about a cellmate of his, who was detained on a criminal charge and supported Hosny  during his stay, according to his post. He wrote about how both of them shared revolutionary talks and ideas even after they were separated in two different cells, imagining what would have happened if the revolution had succeeded and torture had been banned in prisons, especially since Hosny’s cellmate was tortured several times during his four-years in prison.

“When a friend asked me to write about my encounters in prison, I was planning at first to write about the moment I entered the cell barefoot, and the inhumane treatment we faced inside, living with 25 other people in a three by eight metres wide cell and the assaults by some officers even inside the clinic,” Hosny wrote.

However, in his post, Hosny focused on the stories of other individuals who are still in prison, rather than his story, believing theirs have “more priority”.

Dubbed as the ‘anti-torture t-shirt detainee’, 18-year-old Mahmoud Mohamed is still smiling with hope and spending his time drawing and painting, Hosny wrote. This is despite his two-year long detention period and transfers from cell to cell, the narrative continued.

Hosny also wrote about other detainees, among them 22-year-old university student Abdallah Abdel Hamid, who is detained for belonging to Ultras, despite the release of other defendants on the same charges, and the fact that he left Ultras three years before his detention.

Mohamed Hegazy, 32, the controversial prisoner who received a five-year sentence for “contempt of religion”, was also featured in Hosny’s post. Hegazy had been acquitted from a previous charge of posting false pictures of torture inside state security.

Nearly 3,977 people were arrested from January to June 2015 on charges of belonging to the banned Muslim Brotherhood group, according to official reports by the Ministry of Interior.

Crowdedness in prison cells has also caused adverse health conditions among prisoners and resulted in the death of dozens.

“People in prison are not just numbers, but they are human beings with stories behind them, and most of them are innocent,” Hosny concluded.


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