- July 11, 2016
- 5 minutes read
Freedom for Esraa Khaled
Monday, July 11 is the date set for another hearing in the sham trial of Esraa Khaled Saeed, Faculty of Engineering university student, who was 21 when coup forces arrested and detained her, and is now 23.
Esraa was arrested at dawn on January 20, 2015 from her home, then 12 fabricated charges were brought against her, including "belonging to an outlawed group" (ie the Muslim Brotherhood) and "forming a terrorist cell".
Her father was the detainee Khaled Mohamed Saeed, who died in prison because the prison administration denied him treatment or transfer to any hospital for treatment required for health problems he suffered.
At dawn Tuesday – January 20, 2015, the military junta’s security forces stormed Esraa Khaled Saeed’s home, arrested her, and hauled her over to Beni Suef Security Directorate, with officers and informants pouring insults and abuse at her all along.
The prosecution laid several absurd charges against Esraa, most notably "possession of an RPG weapon" and torching an officer’s farm, burning electrical transformers, and other charges that both her lawyer and her family found ludicrous and unbelievable.
Esraa was then moved to Minya General Prison. She was the first female political detainee in that prison. Esraa suffered serious violations there, beginning with isolation in an incredibly small cell, and ending with physical assault by criminal prisoners at the same jail. This forced her to start an open-ended hunger strike to protest the abuse.
Not only did Al-Sisi’s regime arrest and detain Esraa, but it also prevented her ill father, who had been arrested earlier, from getting the life-saving medical treatment he needed, until he died in prison as a result of deliberate medical neglect. Esraa was then prevented from attending the funeral of her father.
The junta regime also denied Esraa the right to get news of her father’s death in a humane way. She received news of her father’s death from an officer while attending one of the sessions of her trial. He said gleefully: "Go say hi to your friends.
They will offer you their condolences on the death of your father". The words fell on her like a thunderbolt. She collapsed, unconscious, immediately.
Since then, Esraa has suffered a serious deterioration in her physical and psychological health.
After almost 19 months of Esraa’s arrest, no verdict or ruling has been issued in her case, which just get postponed for months at a time.
Esraa wrote to her long-suffering mother, "Mum, you know when you leave me after a visit, I feel like the time I was arrested from our home. I am always so tired these days. I now find it very difficult to sleep and yet more difficult to wake up. My cell door is going to kill me. I am always sitting in front of it all night. I cry myself to sleep".
To contact Esraa’s family in Bani Sweif: Tel 01149449731