CAIRO: The U.S. Department of State expressed its concern over the treatment of detained political activists in Egypt in a statement on Tuesday.
“We are deeply concerned about reports that detained political activists Ahmed Maher, Ahmed Douma, and Mohamed Adel were abused and beaten by security forces prior to yesterday’s court session in Egypt,” said Jen Psaki, U.S. Department of State spokesperson.
Psaki said the U.S. is looking to the Egyptian government to ensure the safety of all those arrested or detained, and that they are afforded “due process and fair and transparent trials and that the law is applied equitably and free of political bias.”
“We have seen reports that the government of Egypt plans to conduct an investigation into this incident, and we urge that the investigation be thorough and transparent,” she said.
On Monday, Douma, Maher and Adel claimed in an appeal hearing that they were beaten by security officials en route to their court session, and told the judges that they would forfeit the court session if the incident was not investigated, Youm7 reported.
The activists also began a hunger strike to protest the abuse, Youm7 reported.
The activists were sentenced to three years in prison for violating a protest law and assaulting Abdeen Misdemeanor’s Court security. Their next appeal hearing is April 4.
A number of political parties and movements including the Strong Egypt Party, Dostour Party, and the 6th of April Youth Movement condemned the violence used against the detained activists.
The Dostour Party said in a press release that it condemns the violence, and said that party lawyers witnessed the incident and are asking authorities to repeal the protest law.
The party also stressed the right to peaceful demonstrations and described the protest law as an “improper law for people who have demonstrated for their dignity.”