Releasing then revolving… The detainees’ rights are lost between international pressures and the regime’s violations

The phenomenon of revolving detainees in Egypt (by including them in new cases after their release) has entered a new escalation phase in recent weeks. The phenomenon is no longer has the old one goal: the “raise the levels of abuse of a limited number of detainees,” such as prominent political activists whom the National Security or General Intelligence refuse to remove from prisons, even after the absence of legal reasons for this. Instead, the successive revolving’s primary goal has become to circumvent external public opinion and deceive foreign embassies that follow up on Egypt’s human rights situation.

Some European embassies had contacted the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to express their concern, as the events’ follow-up clarifies the regime’s attempt not to recognize the broad, widespread, and opposition nature of the recent mass movement. During those contacts, embassies also expressed concern about the increase in the number of citizens arrested in connection with the events, whether during their participation in demonstrations or as part of security campaigns to intimidate and limit the popular movement’s expansion.

The diplomatic missions also strongly criticized the continued detention of dozens of political and human rights activists who were arrested before and after the events of September 2019. The sources mentioned that some of the contacts that took place were coordinated between a few capitals to confirm their collective interest in Egypt’s human rights situation. Since last October, the regime has begun to release large numbers of detainees held in the custody of several cases, following sharp Western criticism that arrived through embassies. However, according to security and human rights sources, most of those released have been revolved and transferred to new cases, the alleged events of which happened in the National Security investigations inside the prisons.

These investigations claim that these detainees held organizational meetings inside the prison and agreed on criminal activities to overthrow the regime. These accusations, which occur inside the prison, represent a new and escalating phenomenon in the National Security investigations and investigations of the Supreme State Security Prosecution. This detracts from the Egyptian regime’s credibility and seriousness in making any initiatives to reduce the number of detainees and release those imprisoned, whether they are political activists or not affiliated with any political trend.

Initially, these accusations were restricted to well-known politicians and activists, or to whom the regime took a hostile stance. It was also understood that cases such as these accusations were fabricated against them in order for the system to ensure that they remained in prison for as long as possible. However, the generalization of these accusations of “unreasonable” facts to most of the defendants in cases with a political dimension threatens to continue imprisoning thousands of non-ideological citizens, who are not supported by human rights organizations, for an indefinite period.

Such accusations also contradict the fact that most of the defendants who have been rotated in the new cases are imprisoned in high-security prisons, especially the Tora Prisons Complex and the New Valley Prison. In these prisons, especially this year due to the Corona pandemic, harsh measures are followed that prevent detainees’ mixing throughout the day, reduce the periods of exercise and presence in the prison canteen, and prevent them from mixing with visitors in the last eight months.

This year, Egyptian prisons witnessed difficult conditions in light of the Corona pandemic and other tensions due to ill-treatment, medical negligence, an increase in deaths, and a ban on visits for about five months.

But observers said that the only reason to keep these enormous numbers of detainees is the regime’s insistence on sending a message of terror and intimidation to the detainees’ social surroundings and the social extensions of the Brotherhood and left-wing activists. They added that he wants to deliver this message at the same time he trades in leaking news of the release in a manner that he claims is an imminent breakthrough His harsh policies for dealing with the public sphere, according to observers.