CAIRO: 16,000 Egyptian prisoners are to begin hunger strike in 11 different prisons across Egypt in protest of the “ill treatment” they are receiving inside the prisons, according to unofficial human rights groups, Anadolu Agency reported.
The Freedom for Detainees in Egypt’s Prisons movement, which focuses on documenting the conditions of political detainees inside prisons, released a statement, saying that the detainees agreed to organize a mass hunger strike on Wednesday, April 30, in order to pressure the interim administration to take action against torture in prisons and to release the innocent.
The interim government denied the presence of any violations on prisoners’ rights, in particular detainees affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood, assuring that all the suspects arrested are undergoing criminal trials, and denied the presence of any political detainees in the prisons, Youm7 reported.
The statement continued that the hunger strike would include 11 prisons across Egypt and that nearly 16,000 prisoners would participate in it.
Meanwhile, an official security source from the Prison Authority Sector denied the reports spread on social networks about MB detainees joining a hunger strike, claiming that they are rumors, Youm7 reported.
The source further noted that the fact-finding commission that visited several prisons earlier this year affirmed that there are no prisoners on hunger strike, claiming that the prisoners are only on striking from eating the prison food.
The April 6 Movement’s political office member Mohamed Mostafa said that the movement previously called for a hunger strike by political detainees in prisons, noting that MB prisoners are joining that call, according to Youm7.
Mostafa added that they did not coordinate with the Brotherhood or any other movement to join the strike, as each movement has different ideologies and demands.
Additional reporting by Ibrahim Ahmed, Mostafa Abdel Tawab and Ahmed Arafa.