Egypt’s Ministry of Interior denied, on Tuesday night, the recent claims about mistreatment of persons while they are under arrest or incarcerated in the country’s detention facilities, after testimonies of alleged torture surfaced.
Activist Mona Seif, the sister of two jailed activists, published a post on her social media accounts saying that her brother, Alaa Abdel Fattah, recorded his testimony in front of the prosecution authorities early this month. In his testimony, he said that he heard other inmates being tortured by electricity.
The Ministry of Interior said that such claims are untrue, and vowed to pursue legal steps against Seif’s statements.
On the other hand, lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali said on his social media page that he filed a report to the prosecution demanding that authorities investigate and look into his client’s [Alaa Abdel Fattah] testimony.
The ministry has recently been active on social media, frequently denying any reported incident of police brutality or abuse that have circulated on social media.
Egypt has repeatedly denied the presence of any violation at its penal institutions. It has released reports and statements in English, slamming allegations by local and international human rights groups, as well as foreign governments, who are critical of the situation in detention centres.
The Ministry of interior has also, in several instances, organised visits to prisons for some Members of Parliament (MPs) and a number of non-government organisations (NGOs).
Abdel Fattah, a prominent activist, was arrested in September 2019, and has since been held in detention pending investigation. He and others are accused of spreading false news that would impact the national security of the country. His latest arrest took place after he was released after serving a five-year sentence for violating the protest law.
Seif’s sister, Sanaa, is also detained pending investigation. She was arrested in June 2020, on accusations of spreading false news on social media, the prosecution said at the time.
She was accused of “acting as part of a plot hatched by a number of fugitives living aboard who seek to incite chaos in the country and undermine security and peace”, the prosecution said. A court will release a verdict regarding her case next week.