A message from his family: Alaa in danger: beaten, blindfolded, and threatened in prison

October 10, 3:45am:

Last night Alaa was able to inform his lawyers, and put it officially on record, that he has been beaten, threatened, and robbed in prison. 

Alaa was beaten on being arrested, on arrival in prison, and has been repeatedly threatened since. He was told if he spoke it would become worse. 

Alaa filed an official complaint and his family are broadcasting the news. 

Here are the details, according to Alaa’s lawyers: 

  1. Alaa was blindfolded in the police vehicle that took him to Tora Maximum Security Prison 2. 
  2. He was slapped and kicked as he entered the prison door.
  3. He was told to strip to his underwear, then forced to talk down a corridor of people as he was beaten on his back and his neck. This is known as the “welcome parade” and is routine abuse in Egypt’s prisons. It lasted 15 minutes.
  4. The beatings stopped for a moment when someone identifying themselves as a doctor asked if he has any injuries or medical conditions. Alaa told him that he has a history of renal stones and needs clean water. 
  5. Alaa was blindfolded again after the beating and taken to an officer, who told Alaa that he hates the revolution and hates him, that prison is made to “teach people like you a lesson,” that Alaa will be in prison for the rest of his life.
  6. Every time his cell door is opened he has been ordered to face the wall as he is insulted and threatened.
  7. Alaa has been robbed of all the clothes his family sent in to him, has only the underwear he was arrested in. 

As Alaa was being moved to National Security Prosecution for his renewal hearing, the officer who is the head of Tora Prison’s investigations told him that if he spoke about what happened they would beat him more and worse. 

Alaa is at risk of further beating, and of torture.

There are very few opportunities for his family or lawyers to see him. Yesterday, his mother and sister waited for 11 hours outside the National Security Prosecution office to catch a glimpse of him, as his detention order was renewed. 

Today, they are outside Tora Prison, to be close to him and as a way of holding the prison warden and head of prison investigations to account. 

Before his latest arrest Alaa published a powerful essay on life in prison, in which he details events like the “welcome parade.” In the past, he has been spared this level of physical abuse, protected by his profile. It seems some calculation has changed.

Alaa decided, as always, not to be silent. We, now, must do our part. 

Raise your voice on behalf of those who can’t. Share information about what is happening in Egypt and call for the immediate release of Alaa and all the protesters arrested in the recent crackdown. #FreeAlaa