The detainees of the ‘Hisham Barakat assassination’ case are facing “inhumane conditions” in detention, their families said in a joint statement, citing their relatives’ inaccessibility to legal support and medical care.
Lawyer Khalaf Bayoumi said that the detainees were subjected to various violations, ranging from forcefully disappearing prior to detention to being “forced to confess false crimes under torture”. According to Bayoumi, they were also banned from legal representation during the initial investigation, until the case was referred to the State Security Prosecution.
The families called upon the security forces to “respect the humanity” of the detainees and give them the right to visits, the entrance of clothes, food, and medication, purchasing food from the prison’s canteen, as well as allowing them to walk and “see the sun” in the prison yards. The statement also demanded that the prisoners not be held in solitary detention.
One of the family members told Daily News Egypt that the detainees are treated differently than those of other political cases. “For example, we have to get permissions from the prosecution each time we visit. And that doesn’t even grant us the visit. It is up to the mood of the officers who are in charge of the visits. We have to pay a lot of bribes to give our relatives food and medication. Sometimes, families pay hundreds of pounds to non-commissioned officers or to police informers,” the family member explained.
Another family member said that her relative, as well as the other detainees are banned from using showers, causing dermatological diseases, “not to mention the torture, which resulted in the deterioration of their psychological state”.
Last month, a detainee named Abu Al-Baker Abdel Mageed was reportedly transferred to the Forensic Medicine Authority to be examined, after suffering a minor memory loss and an inability to identify his family members.
The defendants are facing several charges that include establishing an illegal group, executing hostile operations against judges, army, and police officers, as well as targeting diplomatic headquarters and aiming to destroy state institutions. According to the charges, terrorism was used by the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group to execute the aforementioned indictments.
Earlier, current prosecutor general Nabil Sadek referred the aforementioned 67 defendants to criminal trial, following the end of investigations executed by the State Security Prosecution.
The investigations revealed that defendants in the case are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, and were cooperating with the Palestinian movement Hamas.
Furthermore, investigations revealed that the defendants were responsible for providing weapons, bombs, military clothes, and equipment to Muslim Brotherhood members for the sake of “executing terrorist attacks”. They also facilitated military training for members through an agreement held with Hamas intelligence officers.
Barakat was assassinated on 29 June 2015 in an attack that targeted his motorcade.
A media gag is being imposed on the investigations into the case of the assassination.