March this year witnessed extreme violations by security forces against all of Egypt's sectors and its journalists and reporters are a large portion of these infringements.
On March 21st security forces arrested one Abdul Rahman Abdul Salam Yaqout a 22 year old photojournalist while he was performing his work in Hanouville in Alexandria.
According to Mohamed Khater chief editor of the Karmouz site Abdul Rahman was arrested while covering the story of the Fowzy Moaz precinct arson attempt. He was abused physically and verbally during his arrest despite presenting his press card and taken to the Fowzy Moaz station and later transferred to Albetash Station. His personal mobile and camera were also confiscated. He was leveled with a host of accusations including affiliation with an outlawed group and protesting without permit and was given a 15 day detention order pending investigation in case number 8558 for 2015.
It is worth noting that after his arrest Abdullah was taken to his home for searching and his belongings were destroyed and his family terrorized and threatened during the search.
As for Mohamed Ali Khalil 26 an online journalist and student 19 year old Ahmed Saleh Fayed both were arrested from Saad village in Damietta Friday March 27th by security forces while visiting a colleague and taken to unknown destinations. To date their whereabouts remain unknown.
Mohamed's mother sent a telegraph to the prosecutor general and interior minister while Ahmed's family also sent telegraph numbers 1010, 333 and 1015 to the interior minister.
Amany Felfel an editor faced similar assaults by the Cairo governor's bodyguard while covering his visit on Saturday March 28. She was prevented from doing her work and she filed a complaint number 45G for 2015 stating that she had been assaulted by the bodyguard giving details.
In a similar incident editors Mohamed Sayed and Hagar Hesham were detained for three hours at the Dokki police station after security forces assumed they were photographing a bomb site in front of the Cairo University. They were later released after signing a statement that they would no longer photograph events taking place on the street illustrating a complete violation to their freedom rights to perform their work without interference.
There is an evident increase in the number of complaints by journalists and reporters regarding the ill treatment in detention. The family of Hassan Qabany arrested since January 2015 and detained at the Aqrab Prison has expressed its concern regarding his safety and wellbeing after facing numerous violations for over a month.
During his short 10 minute visit Qabany informed his wife from behind glass that since his transfer to the Aqrab Prison he has been the victim of ill-treatmentfor no apparent reason.
In its testimony to HRM his wife stated that her husband's health deteriorated as a result of ill-treatment and medical neglect. She added that her husband's winter clothes and personal belongings were confiscated and his head was also shaved as a form of punishment.
From behind bars journalist Ahmed Gamal Zeyada detained in Abu Zaabal Leman Prison sent a letter stating that he was punished because of his political affiliations for periods lasting longer than a week rather than 24 hours as recommended by the prison's administration in solitary confinement in cells. He was denied warm covering or access to toilets and given spoiled food prompting him to begin an open ended hunger strike.
HRM condemns actions against reporters as Egypt's authorities attempt to silence them by arresting them and treating them inhumanely while in detention forcing them to sign statements banning them from continuing their work and transferring the truth. Such actions are a violation to article 2 of the international rights convention for civil and political rights which states in its charter free human beings must enjoy civil and political freedom and freedom from fear and want can only be achieved if conditions are created whereby everyone may enjoy his civil and political rights, as well as his economic, social and cultural rights.
Moreover HRM holds the Egyptian authorities fully responsible for the safety and wellbeing of detainees arbitrarily arrested or abducted and forced through torture to confess to crimes they did not commit. It calls for the immediate and independent investigation of the treatment and violation of detainees rights in Egypt's prisons which is depriving them of the most basic of human rights because of the torture.