Ahmed Douma

A group of seven human rights organisations in Egypt has called on the country to launch an immediate investigation into the torture and assault of political activist Ahmed Douma and a researcher, Ahmed Samir Santawy.

The group also called on the public prosecution to acknowledge and address the reports submitted to it regarding violations in detention sites and prisons across Egypt.

The group is made up of the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS), Egyptian Front for Human Rights, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

Others include the El Nadim Centre For Management and Rehabilitation of victims of violence, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, and the Committee for Justice.

According to the group, a leaked letter from Douma’s prison cell, dated 19 July, recounted the violations inflicted upon him and Santawy.

Douma accused the chief of the investigation unit at Tora Prison, Ahmed Zain, of torturing, physically assaulting, and verbally insulting him and medical negligence and delay in providing emergency medical care to Santawy.

The group noted that the prison administration has refused to write an official report to investigate Douma’s torture and assault, despite his request to summon the prosecution.

‘The torture and assault of political activist Ahmed Douma, and the medical negligence and assault of researcher Ahmed Samir Santawy is condemned by the undersigned human rights organisations’, the group said in a statement.

‘The undersigned call on the public prosecution to launch an urgent and immediate investigation into the aforementioned incidents,  which took place on 19 July in Tora Prison in southern Cairo, and to hold those responsible to account.

‘We warn that continued impunity for perpetrators would encourage the repeated perpetration of such crimes while worsening already dire and deteriorating conditions in Egyptian prisons’.

Egyptian security forces, according to the U.S. State Department Egypt 2020 Human Rights Report, had carried out arbitrary arrests, torture, and enforced disappearances and other gross human rights violation.

Freedom House also ranked Egypt as ‘not free’ in its 2022 Freedom in the World report on political rights and civil liberties, with the North African country earning 18 points out of a possible 100.

Photo source: CIHRS

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