CAIRO: “Prison is the toughest thing wherever it is. The only feeling occupies you inside jail is that you stop thinking about the future. I am experiencing this feeling again now as my little brother is jailed and I cannot see his future.”
Tariq Mohamed speaks to The Cairo Post about the plight of his 19-year old brother Mahmoud, who completed Saturday 700 days in pre-trial detention.
“Mahmoud has missed two years of his school due to his renewed detention; he will stand Sunday another renewal session,” his brother Mohamed said.
The young boy was arrested in January 2014 on his way home in Delta’s Qalubiya. He was wearing a T-Shirt with a slogan reads “Nation Without Torture,” and a scarf has the word “January 25” written on it; both were counted among seized evidences against him.
He is facing charges of protesting, possessing explosives and disrupting public peace, said his brother Mohamed, describing the accusations as “lacking credibility, and commonly drawn against regime opposition.”
“I myself was accused of two contradicting charges at the same time in 2013; one for belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood, and the other for burning the group’s guidance bureau,” Mohamed said.
The 19-yr old student is soon to complete his second year in jail, while his future is still unknown as the case has not yet been referred to trial. The law stipulates maximum two years for remand; however, many detainees are languishing in prison, exceeding the time limit in what rights activists describe as a tool of “punishment” before even the person is proved convicted.
“The accused is innocent until proven guilty is a famous legal saying that should be applied. There should be alternatives to the remand. What is the point of keeping a person in jail, when he can be out with the guarantee of place of residence?” added Mohamed.
He went on posing another question, “why officers who are facing charges of torture are usually bailed, while other people are left in prison?”
Ironically, Mahmoud who was detained wearing an anti-torture T-shirt has informed his family he was abused in detention and forced into signing a confession.
Quoted by Amnesty, Mohamed previously said it is “the worst feelings ever” to know that his little brother is abused.
Amid a spate of cases of abused detainees reported by right groups, Interior Ministry has repeatedly ruled out accusations of “systematic torture,” and instead calls it “individual violations” that will be dealt with firmly.
According to Mohamed, prison has changed his young brother to a maturely minded person; “he is now different from the time he was detained, and knows his legal status very well.”
The last time Mahmoud’s family visited him in prison Thursday, he told them that he “believes he will be out and back to his school soon,” despite his fears of referring his case to trial after remand like in Photojournalist Shawkan’s case, Mohamed continued.
Mahmoud’s detention has triggered wide criticism by human rights groups, including Amnesty, which petitioned with around 145,000 signatures demanding his immediate release.
A number of politicians and rights activists have recorded a one-minute video, posted on the Facebook page of Freedom for Mahmoud Campaign, demanding freedom for Mahmoud. The campaign has called on supporters to write on social media Saturday and Sunday using hashtag #FreeMahmoudMohamed.
Rights activists and politicians demand Mahmoud’s release, subtitles available in English
افرجوا عن محمود محمديستكمل الطالب محمود محمد 700 يوم في الحبس الاحتياطي بسبب ارتدائه تيشيرت يحمل شعار وطن بلا تعذيب، محمود الذي لا يتجاوز عمره ال 19 عام راح عليه عام دراسي، ويوشك الثاني أيضا علي الانتهاء وهو لا يزال ينتظر الافراج عنه في سجن طره تحقيقو في إطار عدة فاعليات تضامنية مع محمود، المعتقل الوحيد الذي يزال رهن الحبس منذ الذكري الثالية للثورة في يناير 2014، شارك مجموعة من الحقوقيين والسياسيين في فيديو تضامني قصير يطالب بالافراج عنه، منهم زياد العليمي عضو الهيئه العليا لحزب المصري الديمقراطي. والمحامية وعضو المجلس القومي لحقوق الانسان راجية عمران، والناشطتان الحقوقيتان مني سيف وسامية جاهين، بالإضافة الي الاعلامية جميلة اسماعيل، والكاتب الصحفي والمتجدث باسم التيار الريمقراطي خالد داوود، وعضو مجلس الشعب النائب هيثم الحريري . والشاعر امين حداد . والمهندس محمد الجمل المرشح علي رئاسه حزب الدستور (قائمة معا نستطيع )تتضمن الفاعليات أيضا يوم تدويني عن محمود محمد في هشتاج #الحرية_لمحمود_محمد وهشتاج #freemahmoudmahmed علي موقع التواصل الاجتماعي تويتر من التاسعة مساء السبت وحتي الحادية عشر مساء، وعلي فيسبوك ابتداء من 12 صباح السبت اوحتي يوم الأحد الساعة 12 منتصف الليل.
Posted by الحرية لمحمود محمد on Friday, December 25, 2015