Human Rights Monitor (HRM) received a complaint and a statement from Ashraf Sayed Adli, the husband of 18-year old Dahab Hamid Abdel-Aal, who was arrested by ferocious coup forces on January 14, 2014 as she headed to a medical center in Cairo. She was eight months pregnant.
The incident occurred in the Sahel Road (Shubra). Dahab – who has no political affiliation – was simply passing through a crowd of pro-Morsi protesters demonstrating against the junta's constitution. Suddenly, coup security vans appeared, and everyone started to run as heavy-handed security forces chased demonstrators, firing birdshot at them.
Dahab could not run, since she was 8 months pregnant. She was arrested along with her neighbor, who accompanied her to the medical center. They were taken into a police van with many other detainees.
Dahab's husband did not learn of what happened to her until he felt she was late returning from the medical center and called her on her mobile telephone. He was shocked to hear her scream and cry as if someone was attacking or hitting her. Later, he was told his wife was detained at Sahel Police Station.
HRM said that when Dahab's husband visited her, he found her totally exhausted, suffering severe fatigue. She told him that she and other female detainees were subjected to severe ill-treatment, beatings and humiliation inside the police station.
Two days later, Dahab was interrogated in detention. The coup prosecutor issued an order to detain her for 15 days pending investigation, accusing her of participating in demonstrations and inciting riots. She was promptly moved to Ameriya Police Station.
HRM added that Dahab's detention was extended three times, the most recent on February 14 when the prosecutor asked her: "When will you give birth?" She said: "Tomorrow". He issued an order extending her detention for another 15 days pending investigation.
On Thursday, February 13, Dahab gave birth to a baby girl following a caesarean operation in Zeitoun Hospital under heavy coup security guard, with her hands shackled to the hospital bed.
HRM lodged a formal complaint with the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention and the Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, calling for urgent intervention with the Egyptian authorities for the immediate release of detained Dahab and urged authorities to give her and her newborn all necessary medical care, especially as her health has deteriorated a lot as a result of arbitrary detention in harsh prison conditions in Ameriya Police Station.
HRM also exhorted Egyptian authorities to commit to international obligations and international laws on the treatment of prisoners and the Convention against Torture.