• November 1, 2017
  • 4 minutes read

Scores of Journalists Hold Strike in Solidarity with Al-Aqrab Detainees

Scores of Journalists Hold Strike in Solidarity with Al-Aqrab Detainees

Tens of journalists held a solidarity strike at the entrance of the Journalists Syndicate Tuesday afternoon, October 31. The call for strike was issued by the Journalists and Freedoms Defence Front(JFDF), and was also attended by the families of journalists detained at al-Aqrab Prison who vowed to remain on strike until Saturday in solidarity with their loved ones, and with all other detainees in the prison. 

Former Coordinator of the Freedoms Committee, Khaled al-Balshi, emphasized that for General al-Sissi’s regime to contravene the laws and deny journalists whose “pretrial detention” periods have ended from being freed is a crime worthy of a stand by journalists at large. 

Al-Balshi stressed the rights of Hisham Gaafar, Hassan Kabany, and Shukan in being effectively released as the law mandates, and condemned the State for refusing to at least provide them with medical treatment when it should have already adhered to the rule of law and freed them. 

Al-Balshi reiterated his full support of the detainees taking part in “the battle of empty stomachs” [name of the hunger strike campaign] as a means for regaining their rights that have been violated by the State.

Dr. Manar al-Tantawi and Mrs. Ayah Alaa’, wives of jailed journalists Hisham Gaafar and Hassan Kabany respectively, have stated they are on an open-ended strike until their husbands are freed. They accentuated that their husbands’ reasons for striking was because they were denied medical treatment, family visits, outdoor times [time prisoners spend in prison yard outside jail cells], and due to their inhumane detention conditions.

More than 1500 political prisoners have gone on a hunger strike at the maximum security al-Turrah Prison, dubbed “Al-Aqrab Graveyard”, with some refusing to receive medical treatment. 

Another hunger strike is being carried out simultaneously by detainees at al-Hadhra Prison in Alexandria for the same reasons, i.e. demanding that the rule of law be observed, prisons’ law applied, and putting an end to medical negligence, non-visitation rights, denying outdoor rights, and corporal punishment of detainees’ families.