Human Rights Monitor calls for charges against eleven young men who were arrested last Ramadan in the media case known as the 'Suhoor case' in Egypt be dropped. It urged a retrial in front of a transparent judiciary since the Damanhour Criminal Court unrightly sentenced them on April 23 to 15 years in prison. HRM doubted there was any integrity during the hearing.
The procedures were unfair and defendants were charged without evidence and investigations by National Security were flawed and sentences were politicized. Furthermore witnesses' testimonies which proved the defendants innocence were disregarded.
A filed report number 11197 for 2014 at the Damanhur Police Station stated that security forces arrested the men on Abdul Salam Shazly Rd wielding batons and armed with bottles, fireworks, and placards defaming the state's institutions. According to witnesses the defendants were arrested from the house of one detainee. HRM followed up and learnt that the institutions named in the case were not I face vandalized or destroyed and the charges were fabricated.
Moreover security forces failed to respect the youths' rights to freedom and safety and were treated poorly without dignity. Armed forces stormed the house of one detainee who kept the company of his friends on July 4, 2014, Ramadan 7 as they were having a meal. Forces destroyed the house contents and arrested the group brutally beating them in the process causing nose bleeds as well. They were led blindfolded and bare footed to the armoured police vehicle and were both physically and verbally abused by security.
The detainees include: Ossama Mohamed Mohamed Alsheik, 27, Mohamed Ibrahim Metwalli Saqr, 25, Mohamed Abdullah Omar Abul Magd, 24, Ahmed Mohamed Morsi Alsamkharaty, 24, Ahmed Abdul Latif Mohamed Abdul Latif, 24, Motaz Mohamed Ahmed Almikawy, 23, Omar Samir Saeed Nofal, 23, Shad Saeed Shaaban Saeed, 22, Islam Sayed Mohamed Khalaf, 22, Mustafa Hassan Hamed Khedr and Mohamed Ashraf Mohamed Khamkham.
HRM states that the defendants were poorly treated since their arrest a year ago. They were abused during their confinement for 45 days at the Damanhour Military Camp and were later transferred to the Abadeya Prison. They were denied personal belongings, medication and were prevented from using the toilets. Water supply was also cut and food was not fit for human consumption.
For its part HRM calls for a retrial for the 11 defendants in front of a just court supervised by an international committee in order to guarantee the transparency of the hearing. It also calls for the immediate release of the defendants held in inhumane conditions despite no evidence against them.