Saeed Kamel Youssef Saeed, also famous as Saeed Abu Hajj, aged 43, went into an open hunger strike along with 9 other prisoners in Al-Arish Central Prison, protesting their unlawful detention.
Saeed and his colleagues did not only begin a hunger strike four days ago, but they also are refusing to receive visitations from their families or lawyers. They are also refusing to leave their cells for any break.
Saeed who works as a photojournalist for Sinai Media Center, is married with five children and takes care of his 85 year old mother. He is the only breadwinner of his family.
He was arrested from his workplace on 4 November 2013. Case No. 829 of 2013 was opened against him were he was accused of burning and destroying the Civilian Defense Department, Custom Directory and the Church. Saeed denied all these accusations and his family stressed that no evidence was found against him, however he is still in detention on remand to date.
His family also informed Human Rights Monitor that he was abused verbally and physically as he was tortured inside prison, resulting in having broken bones in his pelvis which were reported in a medical report issued by the prison doctor. He also suffers from disk prolapse due to the long detention period in small cells containing a large number of detainees than its capacity can tolerate.
Saeed as a journalist, has the right to write everything he wants and the right to express his opinions and thoughts in a free country. However this is not the case in Egypt, where journalists are being targeted in particular, despite all international conventions and agreements Egypt has ratified which stresses on the right to freedom of opinion and expression according to article 19 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights.
Saeed has the right to write, photo and document events, and has every right to be free. HRM calls for his immediate release and to be granted the medical care he requires.