Detainees held by Egypt coup authorities at the notorious Zagazig Main Prison have sent out a plea and protest message against the torture they currently suffer behind bars. They complain that the political prisoners languishing in Zagazig’s harshest jail are subjected to all kinds of violations.
Zagazig Prison resembles a cemetery, or a dark dungeon with cells in an underground labyrinth where there is no air, no ventilation holes of any kind, and no-one sees the sun. Cell doors are permanently shut. Overcrowding is the norm there, with 20 detainees placed in each 20-square-meter cell (5 meters in length and 4 meters in width).
In their desperate plea for help, political prisoners said: "We are not allowed to talk to or even hug our children, loved ones or any members of our families, nor hear their voices. We are only allowed to see them from afar, as we are forced to stand behind a wire fence, about 10 detainees at the same time, in addition to other visiting families".
Zagazig detainees’ protest against violations "made Ahmed Atef, the chief of the jails’ investigation department, double the atrocities of his crimes against us. He denied us all our rights. He even threw leaders of stature, youths, and university professors in "discipline cells", after we objected to his repression.
"The following day, this investigation department chief stripped all detainees naked, and ordered wardens and officers to take away from cells all food, blankets and medicines. In fact, they took away everything that could be removed, leaving cells totally bare – unfit for human living. Ten political prisoners were taken naked and barefooted to unknown destinations by way of punishment. We do not know where they are until now. Prison officers and wardens dragged many youths on the ground to "discipline cells", and then closed the air-vents with an iron cover and locked the doors completely shut."
In new challenging action, as prison administration deliberately neglects ill detainees’ urgent medical needs, and as violations continue against political prisoners for the 11th day, detainees have started an open strike, determined to persist for an indefinite period until their fair demands are met.