CAIRO: Recently released from prison, Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy stated that during his imprisonment, he and other prisoners were forced to do cleaning tasks which included the removal of human waste among other garbage, under the beating of policemen.
“One time they made us all sit on the floor heads between our legs and threw all the waste we had collected at us,” Shamy stated in a Friday interview with Al-Masry Al-Youm.
Shamy, currently in Qatar after having traveled to Kenya following his release in mid-June, criticized the June 30 Fact-finding Committee’s work and accused it of being “false” in the sense that their visits to prison to assess human rights conditions were not really intended at that but rather to maintain their formal image.
The committee held a press conference in June following a visit to Shamy and his jail mate Mohamed Sultan and stated that they were “in good health.” By the time their report was issued, Shamy and Sultan had been on a hunger strike for more than five months.
In poor health and after losing a considerable amount of weight, both of their families responded the next day by criticizing the committee, and providing counterproof of their claims supported by medical reports.
Shamy has previously spoken of his torture in prison following his release, stating to the press on June 1 that he would pursue his legal rights. During his incarceration, the fact-finding committee had denied torture allegations.
Shamy also spoke of his account of the Rabaa al-Adaweya sit-in, telling Al-Masry Al-Youm Saturday that the committee had not requested his testimony, nor had Human Rights Watch, but that he planned to talk to the latter.
Shamy said contrary to official accounts, police forces did not give time for protesters to leave the location, attacked reporters and destroyed cameras and targeted tents and other places where the injured were receiving medical aid.
“I do not belong to any organization, I was covering the event just as I covered Tahrir protests following the ouster of Mohamed Morsi,” Shamy told Al-Masry Al-Youm.
The June 30 Committee conducted research to contribute to the final Rabaa report issued by the government-affiliated National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) released in a press conference on March 17.
The committee has yet to provide reports on Rabaa with new information and investigations conducted by prosecution authorities. Its official work ends on Sep. 21, but there is still a possibility to extend the deadline, committee president Fouad Abdel Moneim Reyad stated in a press conference Wednesday.
However, the committee has previously and continues to express its difficulty in getting pro-Muslim Brotherhood members to speak, which could raises many credibility questions.