[ Update- Dia Eddin Gad has been released today]
While the recent months have been witnessing a considerable number of arrests to Egyptian bloggers, most of them are facing ill treatment in their detentions.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) revealed that the Egyptian blogger Dia Eddin Gad is suffering health problems in his cell in Katta Prison, where he has been locked since he was kidnapped on 6th February. AHNRI states in a press release:
Dia has been locked in solitary confinement and deprived of sunlight. He was also deprived of medical care and was threatened with death. ANHRI fears that these retaliatory measures are due to his refusal, along with his family, to join the ruling National Democratic Party. An official with the party proposed that Dia be released once he joins the NDP.
Gad (22-year old) is the owner of Sout Ghaded blog (An Angry Voice), was expressing his rejection of the Egyptian government's practices during the recent war on Gaza, and Egypt's continued support for Israel through fuel sales. The State Security battered him in front of his house before kidnapping him.
Yesterday, Gad’s mother came to a conference hold at Al-Tagmmo’ Party headquarters in Cairo, tilted “Bloggers and Arrests”, she told the attendees:
I have just came back from Kattah prison where my son is detained, he urgues you all to help him, everyone with the tools he has. Please, do something for my son, he is really sick…
The father of the young blogger did not attend the event, as he went through psychological shock, and temporary paralysis, because of the detention of his son.
ANHRI is asking people to show solidarity with Gad by sending complaints to the Ministry Of Interior (the address, fax and email are mentioned below)
Meanwhile, blogger Mohammed Adel, who was detained for more than 3 months, confirmed the bad condition of detention he witnessed during the period of his imprisonment. He told Global Voice Advocacy :
GVA: How were you treated when you were arrested?
Adel: It was not humane at all! I was detained in an underground chamber, which is supposed to be a prison cell. And I was not allowed to use the bathroom more than 3 times a day, blindfolded and with my hands tied! And I didn’t even know where I was locked up until I heard two soldiers talking to each other, and concluded from their conversation where I was.
GVA: Was your blogging mentioned openly during the interrogation?
Adel: Actually most of the interrogation was about blogging and my writing there, the photos I am publishing, and even slogans mentioned in my blog Meit ‘already dead!’
GVA: You mentioned in a press interview that you were tortured, did it have something to do with giving up your passwords?
Adel: Yes! I was beaten up to give my email passwords. Then I decided to go on a hunger strike, but once I pretended not to feel like eating I was subjected to electric shocks. They were really strict. But finally I announced to them I was on a hunger strike, then a DA representative visited me, and later I was released.
Bloggers who are tortured or detained in poor conditions are believed to be prisoners of conscience. Recently, experts of the Human Rights Council have concluded that the Egyptian authorities have detained blogger Kareem Amer arbitrarily for his online criticisms and for exercising his right to freedom of expression. The United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (WGAD) communicated its decision to Amnesty International (Link to the WGAD decision PDF).
Kareem who was sentence in 2007 to four years in prison for writing on his blog criticizing Egypt's al-Azhar religious authorities and President Mubarak, was subjected to torture and ill-treatment. Last year, he had written in a letter from the prison telling that:
I was beaten and put into an isolated cell with scarce food and water, I was subjected to a crude, non-humane and degrading treatment
In his letter, Amer is referring to the ‘physical and moral’ torture to which he is being subjected. He said he was ‘handcuffed and beaten’.
The Ministry Of Interior
25 Sheikh Rihan street- Bab el-Louk
The Attorney Genera/ Justice Adbdel Majid Mahmoud
Supreme Justice Council
Ramsis street- Cairo-Egypt