On 19 August 2013, Police and Security Forces dressed in civilian clothes raided the work place of Dr Youssef Talaat, confiscated laptops and documents and arrested him, without showing an arrest warrant. Dr Youssef Talaat, aged 30 and father of a one year-old child, was detained incommunicado, with criminal detainees, for one month in Kasr Al-Nil Police Station during which he was severely tortured at the hands of police officers and security guards. He was handcuffed and hung from his hands and blindfolded in a solitary confinement for three days. He was also prevented from eating or drinking for three days. Police Officers and security guards electrocuted, burnt him with cigarettes and beaten him with a thick baton on all parts of his body.
On 5 September 2013, Dr Talaat was interrogated at the Supreme State Security Prosecution in Fifth District in Cairo, Egypt. The prosecution charged him with affiliating to the Muslim Brotherhood, attempting to damage state owned properties and institutions, spreading false information and being a threat to public security in case No 317 of 2013 and named it “Rabia Operations Room”. The prosecution ordered his detention pending investigations for further 15 days, during which his torture and ill-treatment continued.
On 10 September 2013 Dr Talaat was transferred to the Scorpion Prison where he remained for four months, during which his torture and ill-treatment continued.
On 25 September 2013 Dr Talaat’s family was finally able to see him for the first time since he was arrested. He came on a wheelchair to see them, with marks of torture and bruises apparent on his hands and face. Dr Talaat stated that he was subjected to torture for a whole month which resulted in having a Disk Prolapse and being unable to stand on his feet or use his hands without help from others. He stated that he was denied any medical care or even from receiving medications throughout his detention period. Dr Talaat has been fainting often in prison due to his poor health conditions.
His family made many formal requests that Dr Talaat be transferred to hospital for medical treatment, however their requests were all denied and he remains without any medical attention to date. They have also requested that he undergoes a medical check up to prove that he was subject to torture but prison authorities rejected their request.
On 8 December 2013, Dr Talaat was transferred again to Tora Al-Mahkom Prison where he remains to date.
On 1 April 2014 he was presented before a judge known for issuing death sentences for political detainees at North Giza Court.
Dr Talaat, who has been in detention for over a year, has been attending all his court sessions at on a wheelchair. His next court session at the North Cairo Court will take place on 3 September 2014, and we fear that he will not be able to attend the session due to the seriously deteriorating health conditions he suffers and his complete inability to move.Today, 1 September, his family visited him in prison. He was picked by his cellmates as he couldn't move at all to meet his family. Dr Talaat gave his wife a letter detailing his deteriorating health conditions and informing her that the prison authorities had told the judge that he is being treated in hospital and this is totally untrue. He also added that he has been unable to move for two weeks which he spent lying on the floor. Dr Talaat requested that his family demands his transfer to Kasr Al-Aini Hospital for treatment.
Given the seriously deteriorating conditions of Dr Talaat, Human Rights Monitor (HRM) submitted an urgent appeal to the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention urging them to call on the Egyptian authorities to stop the torture and ill treatment of Dr Talaat and to immediately and unconditionally order his release and to grant him the medical care he requires.
HRM holds the Egyptian authorities fully responsible for the health and wellbeing of Dr Talaat. Egyptian authorities must investigate these allegations of torture, and that the perpetrators of these acts are brought to justice.
Finally, HRM urges the Egyptian authorities to abide by the international laws and treaties to which they are signatories and to respect their obligations under the ICCPR and CAT and take urgent measures to ensure that all acts of torture and ill-treatment in all places of detention is brought to an end.