Five Azhar University Female Students to Be Retried After 29 Months Incarceration
|Thursday, May 26,2016 06:13|
On December 24, 2013, coup security forces arrested 15 young students (10 male and 5 female) in a campaign of arbitrary arrests on Al-Azhar University campus. The five girls are:
Alaa Alsayed Mahmoud,
Afaf Ahmed Omar,
Hanadi Ahmed Mahmoud,
Rafidah Ibrahim Ahmed,
Asmaa Hamdi Abdel-Sattar.
The five female students were subjected to severe beatings and lynching during arrest, on the university campus, and until they arrived at Nasr City Police Station One. There, they were subjected to obscene insults and more severe beatings, by station staff, until they were sent over to Qanater Prison. Again, once they arrived, they suffered long sessions of torture,
beatings and abuse until they were transferred to the notorious Abadeya Prison in Damanhur.
Asmaa Hamdi Abdel-Sattar, 23 years old:
A university student from Sharqeya Province, Asmaa studied at Al-Azhar University's Faculty of Dentistry. She was arrested in front of the Faculty of Dentistry building's gate.
Asmaa's was held at Nasr City Police Station Two for almost a whole month, locked up with toughened criminals who stole her personal effects all the while. Worse still, she had to sleep right on the cell's filthy floor. Adding insult to injury, prison staff pour water on the floor at night, singling out Asmaa and forcing her to wake up at night to mob the floor.
Later, in Qanater Prison, Asmaa and all political prisoners, suffered severe beatings at the hands of wardens, criminal inmates, riot police personnel, and soldiers stationed at the prison. She also suffered torture sessions at the hands of her jailers. In order to further "punish" her, coup authorities transferred her over to the even worse Abadeya Prison in Damanhur, without her personal effects. In Abadeya, Asmaa was locked up in the same cells with toughened criminals, cells that teemed with bugs, cockroaches and rats.
As a result of the extremely squalid conditions at prison, Asmaa developed a skin allergy and allergic sinusitis. Moreover, the Faculty of Dentistry administration refused to allow Asmaa to perform exams in prison, despite the approval of the prison administration. This led to the loss of at least two academic years until now.
Alaa Alsayed Mahmoud, 20 years old:
Student at Al-Azhar University's Faculty of Sharia and Law, Alaa is from the Suez Governorate. She was arrested from the university campus by police forces in civilian clothes accompanied by criminal thugs.
She was then taken to Nasr City Police Station Two where staff assaulted her, beating her inside the police station, and conducting the most humiliating personal search on her. Then she was taken to Nasr City Police Station One where she was held for 18 days of extreme humiliation and abuse. Later, she was sent back to Nasr City Police Station Two. There, she was held for another two dreadful weeks. The police station staff insisted on waking her up at dawn to mob the entire station, as a kind of humiliation and psychological torture, until she was transferred to Qanater Prison in Damanhur. In Qanater Prison, Alaa was badly beaten, and forced to share crowded cells with toughened criminals who kept stealing all her belongings.
Rafidah Ibrahim Ahmed, 23 years old:
Rafidah is from Beheira Province. She is a student at Al-Azhar University's Faculty of Commerce. University security personnel accompanied by criminal thugs dragged her from campus and handed her over to armed police. During her detention in Nasr City Police Station Two, Rafidah was locked up with toughened criminals in a crowded cell, where those criminals smoked cigarettes and took smuggled drugs. This caused Rafidah serious breathing problems. The large number of inmates and detainees per cell meant there was no room for anyone to lie down to sleep, there was only enough space to stand inside the cell. They all had to take turns to sleep. Moreover, prison personnel conducted a humiliating and crude pregnancy test.
After locking her up for a whole month in the police station, Rafidah was transferred to Qanater Prison where she suffered severe beatings at the hands of wardens, riot police forces and toughened criminal inmates. This caused her painful bruises in her back. Then Rafidah was hauled away to Damanhur Prison barefoot, without her headscarf and only in a shamefully flimsy robe that made her feel terribly exposed and vulnerable.
As a result of the filthy cell conditions and the insects that thrived throughout the prison, Rafidah suffered an allergy in her chest, and a skin rash, as well as an allergy in her eyes. She also suffered constant pains in her back since she was beaten in Qanater Prison.
Afaf Ahmed Hussein, 22:
A student at Azhar University's Faculty of Islamic Studies, Afaf was arrested by a security officer from within the university, while performing her exams. The officer then handed her to Interior Ministry security forces just outside the university.
Afaf suffered severe beatings and obscene insults at the Nasr City Police Station Two where she was held for one month.
Then, she was moved over to Qanater Prison where she suffered more beatings – by wardens, criminal inmates, riot police personnel – until was transferred to Damanhur Prison, falsely and ludicrously accused of "attacking security forces, stealing a purse that allegedly had 30 Egyptian Pounds (about $3), damaging university buildings, and preventing students from entering exam rooms"!
Afaf's state of health deteriorated. She constantly, repeatedly suffered fits of low blood pressure, and now always suffers stomachaches and excruciating abdominal pains.
Hanadi Ahmed Mahmoud, 22:
Student at Azhar University's Faculty of Islamic Studies, Hanadi also worked at a doctor's clinic to help her elderly mother with household expenses (her father passed away).
Arrested arbitrarily and detained in conditions unfit for human living, Hanadi's health suffered badly. She had an appendectomy operation while in detention. Her wound was infected, due to the notorious excessive overcrowding in cells, and to the fact that she was thrown back into the prison's squalid, filthy cells immediately after the operation and before she even woke up from anesthesia. Soon, stitches came off the infected wound, leaving it wide open for further infection. Only a fellow prisoner was left the duty of cleaning the wound for her from time to time amid total and deliberate medical neglect by prison authorities.
Hanadi was falsely accused of "possession of fireworks and Molotov cocktails, and damaging university buildings". She was badly beaten, often until she lost consciousness . When her mother tried to complain, when she learnt of her daughter's ordeal, officers poured verbal abuse at the mother, and threatened to arrest and detain her with Hanadi.