Egypt: Treatment of female political activists in El-Kanater prison

The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) & The Egyptian Center for Women's Rights (ECWR) are deeply concerned and strongly object to the continued detainment of 3 female activists - Asma'a Ali, Nada El-Kasas and Rasha Azab.
The three political activists were arrested on May 7, 2006 in front of South Cairo Court while they awaited the decision on the judges appeal (Hesam Pastawy & Mahmoud Meky) of the of the ruling to send them to a disciplinary court.
The female activists are detained on Case #415, 2006 State Security Case for 15 days. Two lawyers from EOHR and the Chair of ECWR went to El-Kanater prison to visit the female activists (Asma'a, Nada) to observe their living and health status within the prison. They recorded the following:
  • They being held in the "felony room," which is a large area divided into smaller cells of 5 — 7 meters and includes 35 female prisoners living together with all kinds of insects.
  • During breaks, there are many rules applied just to activists such as having a limited area to walk in with extra security and fewer hours of break than other female prisoners.
EOHR and ECWR consider the persecution of the female activists as a violation of international conventions and Egyptian laws on human rights and the treatment of prisoners and detainees under Articles 41 and 36 of the Constitution, Law 396 for 1956 of the penal code, Law 396 for 1956 (changed to the law no 87 for 1973) in the articles 25, 24, 22/1 and 25/2 from the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, articles 3- 9 of the International Declaration of Human Rights; article 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.

EOHR and ECWR demand the charges against the detainees be immediately dropped and the activists released for the sit-in and demonstration, according to citizens' rights to express their opinions and their rights to gather peacefully. These rights are guaranteed by the Egyptian constitution and the international conventions (the International Covenant of Civil and Political Rights was signed by Egypt in 1981 and became national law according to Article 151 of the Egyptian Constitution). EOHR and ECWR demand an immediate investigation of the inhumane treatment of the female prisoners in Case 415 for 2006 State Security, in El-Kanater prison.