During the last months, one of the most used vocabulary in the Egyptian political street was The Recycling cases “Tadweer” in Arabic. “Tadweer” in details is the Recycling cases of political prisoners after the judge orders their release. They are released on papers, false release, but actually they are put in other cases with similar charges. The Recycling cases “Tadweer” allows the police system to exceed the upper limit of reserve custody, limited according to the Egyptian Criminal Law with two years. After two years, the prosecution is obligated to release the accused.
The prisoners in The Recycling cases “Tadweer” system are suspended for questioning for several years without any actual judgement. This system allows the national security sector not to move their allegations from the prosecution to the court, because this demands producing proof of their allegations. It is important to know that the different cases in The Recycling cases “Tadweer” system don’t necessarily mean different charges. In other words, the charges are constant while the cases differ.
Who protects the protests?
Abdulrahman Tarek aka Moka is a young man aged nearly 25 years old. He is a human rights defender, and was working with Al Nedal Center for rights and freedoms. Moka, also one of 6 April Movement members, contributed in 25 January revolution. Moka was arrested in 2013 and sentenced to be prisoner for 3 years plus 3 years of surveillance under police supervision. Tarek was sentenced in case number 12058, known in the media as “Shoura Council Case”. Moka already served his sentence of 3 years in prison.
Once upon a time, while Moka was spending monitoring (surveillance) time in Qasr El-Nil police station, he was sexually and verbally assaulted by one of the police officers and he was threatened not to share that with the others. So, when he posted his story on his social media account, he was arrested and appeared in front of the state security prosecution, he was accused with list of charges; joining terrorism group, spreading fake news, misuse of social media, in case number 1331.
Moka was sent to prison before The Criminal Court released him on 10 march 2020 after 5 months of detention. The surprise was that Moka’s release was a false release typically like the Judicial system who ordered his release. Moka was forced disappeared for about 40 days then appeared in the prosecution with a new case (nom. 558), this case was related to spreading fake news about Covid_19 widespread in the country. It’s clear enough that the charges which Moka faced were fabricated as the start point of COVID-19 19 virus spread in the world was in January 2020, while Moka was in prison.
The judge in The Criminal Court released him on 21 September 2020. Once more, he disappeared in one of the police stations, before Re-appearing in front of the prosecution on 3 December. The new case number is 1056 with similar charges. Now, Abdulrahman Tarek is suffering from physical and psychological problems and hunger striking since 5 December, protesting against The Recycling cases “Tadweer” crisis. Moka’s life now is in danger, searching for who will save him. During 2020 only, Moka was accused in three different cases, nom. 1331, 558, 1056 respectively.
In Moka’s case, it’s indistinct if the judicial system or the security one has the upper hand to do justice. The answer of this question will determine the future of justice in Sisi’s era. It’s very important to confirm that Moka’s situation isn’t individual and there are hundreds _may be thousands_ of political prisoners who are Re-arrested from inside, they are living in vicious circle, these victims cast down on justice in presence of The Recycling cases “Tadweer” crisis.
Ahmed Maher aka Rigo, 28 years old activist, the member of the Supreme body of (Misr Al Qawiya) party whose founder Dr. Abdulmonem AbuElfotuh is being kept in prison in very bad conditions according to his lawyers and family. Rigo was arrested on 4 May 2020, to find himself accused with the common list of charges, including joining and financing terrorism group, and making films with political purpose to send them abroad, particularly to Aljazeera channel. The state security sector officers forced Maher to make a confession under threatening him with his young brother’s detention. The Criminal Court released Rigo in last October to be arrested again in November in a new case (nom. 855).
Islam Salama also is another victim. Islam is an Egyptian lawyer, known among his friends as the lawyer of girls, as he was devoted to political female prisoners. Salama was detained on 26 May 2020, in case number 1375, faced charges of joining a terrorism group. The judge released him on 14 October, before the political police forced disappeared him. Islam reappeared in front of the public prosecution office on 30 November in case number 7869, and he now in public Tanta prison.
The future of justice in Egypt:
The common sense among political activists in Egypt is that the military system has tried since the first hours after the coup to drag the judicial system into the political conflict. So the system lost any meaning of justice. And the judge turned into an opponent. Now, the public prosecution which should be the layer of people, contributed in the conflict with paradoxical roles. It is the opponent and the referee at the same time. During Mubarak era which lasted for 30 years, the political system was saving his face by confirming the justice system’s independence. It’s true that the independence was fake to some extent, but at least there was in comparison with the current situation.
The Egyptian opponents in 2021 hope the vicious circle of the Recycling cases “Tadweer” will be broken under the increasing number of prisoners, which the system is exposed to. They hope this increasing pressure may do some justice for them. The first step in this long road is to constrict the role of the state security sector and save justice from the Recycling cases “Tadweer” crisis.