Egypt: Sexual assault of detainee Omar Ali in Badr Prison denounced by human rights organizations

In Egypt /Road Map Program, Statements and Position Papers by CIHRS

The undersigned human rights organizations condemn the sexual assault of Omar Mohamed Ali inside his place of detention on 2 October 2022, by members of the police and in the presence of the prison investigations inspector. The organizations call on the Public Prosecution to open a serious and transparent investigation into the incident, to seize the camera recordings inside the prison, and to bring those responsible to trial.

The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression submitted a report to the General Attorney about the incident, no. 237018, which is under examination at New Cairo Administrative Prosecution Authority. Omar Ali was transported from Tora Farms Prison and transferred to Badr Prison; the incident took place immediately after Ali’s arrival to Badr Prison. The police officers started searching Ali, and before he was asked to undress, three security personnel stripped him of his clothes by force while he was handcuffed, and repeatedly harassed him in the presence of a detective inspector and in a place where there are many surveillance cameras.

The sexual assault of Omar Ali is a serious indicator of the severity of the violations to which detainees are subjected inside prisons throughout Egypt. The escalation of violations inside Badr Prison, the subject of complaints and allegations from many political prisoners, indicates that there have been no changes in the policy of the security services inside prisons. This continued political inaction undermines the credibility of proposals by the Egyptian government to bring about genuine changes in the country’s human rights situation. The government did not offer Omar Ali a pardon, in line with the President’s decision to activate the pardon committee and release some prisoners of conscience. Instead, Ali remains unjustly detained in Badr Prison, where the violations against him have escalated to sexual assault.

The incidents targeting Omar Ali date back to 2015, after he was arrested with two of his friends in front of a restaurant in Maadi on 2 June 2015. He was then disappeared for nearly two weeks, during which he was tortured inside the headquarters of the National Security Agency. Ali was brought before the Military Prosecution on 16 June 2015, accused pending investigations in Case no. 174 of 2015, for revealing a military defense secret. Ali was alleged to have provided one of the defendants with information that the court deemed incorrect about a security officers in the military factory where he works. Despite the apparent triviality of this ‘defense secret’, the military court sentenced him to 25 years in prison.

Omar Ali continues to suffer from poor detention conditions and repeated violations of the right to due process. He has been tortured to coerce false confessions and was refused access to forensic medicine to prove his allegations of torture. He is being tried before a military court, not his natural civilian judge.

The undersigned organizations condemn the sexual assault of detainee Omar Ali in front of a prison security official. We demand the opening of a serious and transparent investigation into the incident and the processing of all prison cameras. We call on the Amnesty Committee to include Omar Ali on the amnesty lists.

Signatories:

  1. Aassociation for Freedom of Thought and Expression
  2. Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies
  3. Nadim Center
  4. Egyptian Front for Human Rights
  5. Committee for Justice
  6. Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms

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