Egypt Watch

Egypt’s courts extend detention of 2,500 political detainees in a single province

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights (ENHR) monitored the rotation (re-detention) of about 2,500 political detainees from the governorate pending new cases within only four months. ENHR said that the exception became a rule in the Sharkia Governorate.

The re-detaining of opponents happened in most of the main cities in the governorate, such as the tenth of Ramadan city, Abu Hammad, Kafr Saqr, Fakous, Belbeis, and Zagazig, pending new cases since the beginning of 2021.

The report of the human rights organisation confirmed that the phenomenon deserves to be confronted, after the security services relied on fraud and fabricating records and cases, to ensure that the released (by court orders) are not released.

ENHR’s investigation revealed that the Public Prosecution Office relied on decisions to rotate detainees pending new cases and extend their detention on National Security investigation records that contain words sent without evidence. The report added that even if the evidence is available, it is often fabricated amid collusion by members of the Public Prosecution Office in Sharkia Governorate.

During the current year 2021, the network monitored that the security services did not implement the decisions to release detainees, despite the end of their sentences. It explained that after detainees obtain release decisions, they are recycled after varying periods of enforced disappearance. It indicated that the detainees mentioned above were deposited in secret headquarters, in violation of the constitution and the law, and were detained in the police stations of their place of residence for specific periods.

The report also pointed out that they are deported to another section close to their residence. They are arrested on charges of protesting, spreading false news, and joining a banned group. The network documented the rotation of many residents in Sharqia Governorate due to new cases in the past months, until it had rotated some of them several times, in some cases exceeding six cases in a short time.

The human rights organisation considered that what is happening in Sharkia Governorate is a legal disaster, fraud, and a severe violation of the rights of detainees, and it can give a general impression and an indication of the reality of the situation in prisons. Since the military coup in Egypt in 2013, the security services have resorted to re-detaining released detainees pending new cases to ensure that they are not released.