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Message From Three Female Activists Inside El- Kanater Prison
ECWR received a message signed by the three political activists - Asma’a Ali, Rasha Azab, Nada El-Kasass - and was asked to send it as their voice from behind the bars of El Kanater prison.  Irrespective of the contents of the message and whether or not  ECWR agrees with it, we must send their message and demand their immediate release.   Their message says:
Monday, May 22,2006 00:00

ECWR received a message signed by the three political activists - Asma’a Ali, Rasha Azab, Nada El-Kasass - and was asked to send it as their voice from behind the bars of El Kanater prison.  Irrespective of the contents of the message and whether or not  ECWR agrees with it, we must send their message and demand their immediate release.


Their message says:


"We are announcing from prison our continued solidarity with the honorable judges, who are honest among the greatest of Egypt’s generations, and rejecting all the arbitrary procedures and repeated violence against them.  We also reject the preventing of their supporters from attending their trial, including consultant Ibrahim Daroush, other judges, lawyers and supporters.  


We emphasize again our solidarity with all demands of the judges and the national movement to achieve the complete independence of the judiciary. We also demand an investigation of all people involved in the election forgery, those who betrayed their country and their honor, and all people who abused Egyptian citizens, including the chair of the court, Mahmoud Abdel-Lateef Hamza, and all who beat or arrested citizens supporting the judges.


Our demand for an independent judiciary is Egypt’s right and her citizens struggling for it continue - even from inside the prison.


The increasing brutality of the Egyptian government against its citizens and its honest judges is a sign of its weakness and the way it deals with the activists arrested March 24 - May 11, 2006 by State Security is a sign of its collapse.


We are confident about the necessity of continuing our national movement against the tyranny and our continuing solidarity with the judges’ demands. Our steadfastness before this regime is the only way to achieve our hopes to establish a state respectful of free association, justice and freedom. Neither the bars of prisons nor the dark cells will prevent us from struggling against this tyranny and injustice. We ask our colleagues, professors and leaders to continue our struggle for freedom from tyranny.


We also declare that we will not engage in shameful negotiations with representatives of the regime or any party members since we consider them usurpers of authority and traitors to our nation. They violate our rights and are in collusion with our enemies, the Americans and Zionists, against our interests, our nation and our national security. We accuse all who participate by the name of the Kefaya movement in such negotiations of collusion and announce our rejection of negotiations, whether public or private.


We didn’t negotiate with anyone whether from the NDP or any other government or American or Zionist to speak on our behalf. Such acts destroy our efforts and hopes and we reject all results from them, even if it means our release. Enduring honestly the honor of prison for defending our nation’s demands is many thousands times better than the shame of release by cooperation or collusion with those who commit crimes against this country. 


We announce from inside prison that we refused all mediation from the national government’s criminals who are using the terminology of "normalization" for dependency, starvation, violating civil rights and their brutal abuses and torture of citizens. We will not accept any less than all these criminals and those who cooperated them be prosecuted.


We also reject all the procedures associated with our detainment from our arrest to denying us the right to testify in court. In fact, we were prevented to enter the court to testify and were surrounded by state security, who threatened us with torture if we didn’t leave. When we insisted on testifying, we were arrested. Some of us objected to these brutal abuses and false accusations, and we were then transferred to the unconstitutional authority of state security under the emergency law. When we demanded an investigation, there was no response.


We are now detained in El-Kanater prison for women with criminals, and although they have been very cooperative and supportive of us, the prison management refuses to treat us as political prisoners and put us in separate cells. We requested this many times until they finally said "these are the instructions from state security." They have also prevented visits from families and lawyers for more than a week and made a separate curfew for us designated for specific places and times and required we be accompanied by security. We refused this treatment and but the prison management responds with the same answer: instructions from state security.


This prison is so crowded that prisoners sleep on the ground – even inside the bathroom – but some prisoners offered us their beds in solidarity with our movement. There is no support or medical care for the prisoners and the products sold in the canteen are very expensive and exploit the prisoners. Of course there is a difference between how the management deals with the poor versus the rich prisoners, who have became rich at the expense of the public and cooperated with Youssif Waly and Youssif Abdel-Rahman in stealing the power of the people and spreading the cancer between them.


We will continue our struggle from inside the prison and nothing will prevent us. Although the bars are very long, our voices will rise above them, and if the tyranny is increased, our religion will be the strongest. We will make sure that this experience and what we saw here is known by our power and persistence.


Long live the Egyptian people’s struggle …. It is a revolution until victory!


From inside El-Kanaer prison,


Rasha Azab                               Asma’a Ali                                   Nada El-Kasas       

The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights


Female Activists in the Clutches of State Security for 15 days


The partner organizations (listed below) in the campaign of solidarity with the three female activists - Asma’a Ali, Rasha Azab, Nada El-Kasas – declare their shock and disappointment regarding the May 20, 2006 decision of state security to renew their detainment for another 15 days.


The decision also renewed the detainment of a large number of other activists who were also arrested while demonstrating in solidarity with the Egyptian judges facing persecution from the state for their demands for an independent judiciary. Since many of the detainees are currently students, they will now be wasting their entire school year because they will be prevented from sitting for exams.


The activists were detained because they were exercising their constitutional rights of demonstrating peacefully, expressing their opinions and holding a peaceful gathering. The Egyptian constitution guarantees these rights and their imprisonment violates this guarantee. Since there is no legal reason to keep them in custody, this must be considered punishment for their support for political reform in Egypt.


Wasting an entire school year by keeping these students detained is the Egyptian government’s gift to the Egyptian people, the activists, and their parents who are struggling so hard to educate their children and see them graduate from university, for political participation.


The partner organizations below therefore demand that the activists be immediately released and allowed to attend their final exams.


Another 15 days in the clutches of state security will sentence them to losing an entire school

The Egyptian Center for Women’s Rights

135 Misr-Helwan El Zeraay
2nd Floor, Suite 3
Hadayak El Maadi, Cairo

Tel: (20) 2 527.1397
Fax: (20) 2 528.2175
E-mail: [email protected]

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Posted in Reform Issues  
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