Ahmed Mefreh, rights researcher at Geneva-based Alkarama for Human Rights organization, said: "Cases of vengeful atrocities, crimes committed by the military junta’s security forces against the people, unarmed civilians, and the families of junta opponents have reached unprecedented levels of ferocity. The junta’s security forces have just added a new crime, a new level of brutality in their systematic violations of human rights".
In a press statement, Mefreh added: "Yesterday, junta forces arrested three families in the Ramlah district of Alexandria. These (Ramlah Police Investigation Department) forces brutally broke into the residence of a citizen named Walid Abdel-Hamid. When they failed to find him there, they stormed the homes of his neighbors and arrested them – all of them were women and children.
"According to eyewitnesses, these coup forces arrested the two sisters Fadeya and Nadera Abul-Magd and little daughters Nourhan and Huda Nasser Abdel-Raouf, along with two other women and their children (about three years old).
"Eyewitnesses said police forces took those women and children away in vehicles belonging to the security apparatus. This is not the first time coup security forces arrest wanted persons’ neighbors without guilt in unprecedented cases of repression."
Mefreh added that coup forces arrested many other families of detainees, including:
1. Masood Mahmood, father of a child detained in a juvenile detention center in Koum El-Dekka in Alexandria: because he objected to the abuse and torture inflicted on his son, a minor. Masood Mahmood was arrested on September 12, 2014.
2. Sarah Ahmed Hammam, daughter of a man junta forces arrested and led away from his home in Mohandessein district in Cairo. The same forces returned and arrested her later. Both the girl and her father have since disappeared and no-one knows where they are. The police refuses to provide information about the places of their detention. The daughter was arrested on September 10, 2014.
3. The detainee Fadl Saeed Assay’s daughter was abducted by (Sherbin Police Investigation Department) forces, who then used her to blackmail and pressure her father, threatening that they would bring all kinds of false charges against her and jail her, too, so her father confesses to crimes he did not commit. She was arrested on September 7, 2014.
Mefreh pointed that these were cases that happened in less than one week, adding: "This constitutes a new barbaric yet systematic approach of repression by the security forces and the junta’s ministry of interior against detainees, prisoners and opponents to pressure them and their families and even their neighbors, to obtain false confessions. Indeed, this is a full-fledged crime that makes all consequences of such so-called investigations null and void.
"These violations only take place because the military regime in Egypt gives full support to all forms of oppression and violation of the law – since the July 3, 2013 coup d’état, whilst the public prosecution service and investigation agencies not only completely ignore these atrocities and violations, but also help the interior ministry to abduct and hold citizens incommunicado in clear and explicit violation of the Constitution and the law.
Mefreh stressed that this type of retaliatory arrest of detainees’ families and neighbors will certainly increase the state of tension in the society, and cause such families to try to defend themselves, especially since investigation authorities do nothing to protect them.