Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Letter from Burg al Arab prison

This is the letter from the three detained workers from Mahalla, Kamal El-Fayyoumy, Tareq Amin and Karim El-Beheiry who are being held at Burg al Arab prison. This was provided in translation by Amnesiac and Sami Ben Gharbia posted it on Global Voices advocacy. Originally in Arabic by Yasari Masri here

I´ve been meaning to post this yesterday. It´s addressed to the judges club and their dynamic chairman, Zakaria Abd al Aziz. I will post it in it´s entirety below. Burg al Arab is one of the toughest prisons in Egypt, another prisoner of Burg al Arab is of course Abd al Karim Nabil Soliman, aka Kareem Amer, the blogger sentenced to four years on for insulting Islam and the President. His been facing some very rough treatment during his stay at Burg al Arab.

Let´s not forget Kamal, Tareq , Karim and Karim.

We, three political detainees, address the letter below to the Judges’ Club and its head Zakareya Abdel Aziz from the Borg el-Arab Prison in Alexandria…

Dear Sir,

A week has passed on our hunger strike and we are extremely weak. We are appealing to you as the last and only resort for all who have suffered injustice in Egypt.

We would like in the beginning to correct certain information which has reached the press about our (the three of us) having been transferred to the prison hospital as a result of our hunger strike.

The truth is that we are still in prison after the administration refused to call an ambulance to take us to hospital, and as a result of the inability of Karim el-Beheiry and Tareq Amin to stand on their feet - as a result of their extreme weakness. Instead, a “nurse” was summoned to examine Karim, whose condition has seriously deteriorated.

We would like to know the reason why we remain in detention. We will continue the hunger strike until we either die or receive this information.

We were tortured in the state security headquarters in Mahalla on the 6th, 7th and 8th April. Officers tortured Karim using electricity while Tareq Amin and Kamal el-Fayyoumy were insulted verbally and physically assaulted. We then spent eleven days in Borg el-Arab prison in a cell with individuals with criminal convictions. When the Tanta court ordered that we be released we were held for four days in the El-Salam police station [noqtat shorta] situated between Mahalla and Tanta before we were taken to Borg el-Arab prison were we began our hunger strike.

From our detention cell, we call on you and all political currents to take action and apply pressure in order to secure the release of all those detained in connection with the events of Mahalla.
Kamal El-Fayyoumy, Tareq Amin, Karim El-Beheiry
Detained workers from Mahalla
Borg el-Arab Prison
Wing 22, Cell 5

UPDATE: The chairman of the Judges Club, Zakaria Abd al Aziz has written a letter to the Public Prosecutor requesting him to open an investigation into the matter of the three detainees in Burg al Arab.


A second letter from Burg al Arab by Kamal al Fayoumy, Tareq Amin and Karim al Beiheri can be found here (Arabic). This came as an investigation began at the Mahalla Prosecution Office of six workers at the Ghazl al Mahalla factory, in connection with the events of April 6th. The six included Kamal al Fayoumy and Karim al Beheiri from Burg al Arab ,as well as Gehad Tammam, Mostafa Fawda, Gamal Abul Assad and Wael Habib, the last one, being the only one present during the investigations.

He is charged with various offences under Article 124 of the Egyptian Penal Code, including inciting other public sector employees to go on strike, possession of documents, interrupting work in the factory, and conspiring with others to print documents which led to the events of April 6.

Why isn´t Tareq Amin included in the group? And why wasn´t anyone, but Wael Habib present?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

All detained prisoners who had no proven convections MUST be released.

Egyptian prisons are full of innocents.

4:29 PM  

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