The Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution has ordered a 45-day extension to Ayah Kamal Al-Din’s detention, who has been incarcerated for alleged “joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media.” These accusations are part of a pattern often used to silence critics of the Egyptian government.
During the hearing to renew her detention, Ayah described the deplorable conditions she has endured since her imprisonment at Al-Qanater Women’s Prison for over a year and a half. She highlighted her complete isolation from other inmates, being held in solitary confinement without any proven violations – a direct violation of prison regulations and human rights principles.
The political activist also revealed that the prison administration has refused to provide her with essential medication and a respiratory device, despite her deteriorating health conditions. Ayah pleaded with the court to consider her urgent situation, expressing concern for her life, and called on the authorities to be held accountable for her well-being.
Despite Ayah’s repeated complaints about the violations she has faced, the court has yet to address or investigate these serious allegations.
In a separate incident, Ayah filed an official complaint with the Attorney General, accusing the Al-Qanater Prison administration of sexual harassment. However, no investigation has been initiated, and the reported violations continue.
Adding to her ordeal, Ayah suffers from several health issues, including asthma, yet the prison administration denies her access to essential medications and respiratory equipment.
This is not Ayah Kamal Al-Din’s first encounter with the Egyptian authorities. She was previously among 14 girls sentenced to 11 years in prison for participating in a pro-President Mohamed Morsi demonstration after the military coup nearly a decade ago. The charges included “illegal assembly, obstructing roads, and disturbing public order during the early morning hours as students were heading to school.”
Furthermore, in 2020, Ayah faced re-arrest after posting a comment on Facebook about the death of a military leader due to COVID-19. Actress Badria Tolba subsequently incited violence against Ayah in a video, falsely accusing her of “criticizing President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi” and linking her to a charitable organization in Alexandria.
Ayah Kamal Al-Din’s continued detention without clear charges and amid allegations of rights violations raises serious concerns about the state of human rights in Egypt. It calls for urgent attention and action from the international community to ensure justice and protection for activists like her.