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Ezzat testimony provides rare glimpse into the deplorable situation faced by political prisoners in Egypt

Dec 26, 2021

By Staff Writer

Testimony provided by the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s acting head, Mahmoud Ezzat, leaked last week, alludes to the despicable treatment of political prisoners in Egypt. The testimony, which has since gone viral, shows the 77-year-old Ezzat complaining to the Judge about the solitary confinement conditions he faces.

He argues that he is not allowed to spend any time outside his prison cell and that at times his food is even thrown at him as if he were an animal. Ezzat also complained about not having access to his lawyers, arguing that the first time he saw the charge sheet was at court. “I have been blindfolded from the prison to this courtroom today, and I haven’t met lawyers and haven’t had a chance to tell them what I want to say so that they would tell the court.”

Ezzat, an epidemiologist, is one of around 60 thousand political prisoners in Egypt since Abdul Fattah El Sisi’s accession to power via a military coup in 2013. In recent years, hundreds have been sentenced to death in sham trials, with thousands more sentenced to life in prison in cases, which lack proper judicial independence and standards. Ezzat himself was sentenced to 25 years in prison for supposed collaboration with Hamas and to life for other suspected infringements.

Like former president Mohammed Mursi and Parliamentarians Essam El Arian, others have died in prison due to poor conditions, including torture, sexual abuse, and inadequate access to medical treatment.

Meanwhile, El Sisi insists that there are no political prisoners in the country; in recent years, he has even altered the constitution to ensure that he will be in power until at least 2034.



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