CAIRO- The wife of one prisoner being held in Al-Hadra said she had seen traces of torture on her husband’s body when she visited him on Sunday.
Relatives of Egyptians recently arrested on charges of “inciting violence” for participating in demonstrations in support of ousted president Mohamed Morsi have accused prison authorities in Alexandria of committing violations, including torture, against prisoners.
They say authorities in Alexandria’s Al-Hadra Prison recently ordered soldiers to storm a number of jail cells and beat the prisoners being held therein with sticks and batons.
“A number of the prisoners were seriously injured in the head and face,” prisoners’ families declared Monday in a joint statement.
The Egyptian government has waged a massive crackdown on Morsi’s supporters since the Islamist leader’s ouster by the army last July. Along with leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood, the group from which Morsi hails, hundreds of Morsi backers have landed in jail for participating in pro-Morsi protests.
The wife of one prisoner being held in Al-Hadra said she had seen traces of torture on her husband’s body when she visited him on Sunday.
“My husband was not able to move his arm when he came out to me,” the wife, requesting anonymity due to fears reprisal, told Anadolu Agency by phone.
She added that she had seen bruises on the faces and heads of some other prisoners who were also receiving visits from relatives.
She claimed that prisoners were being denied healthcare, which could put their lives in jeopardy.
“Prisoners were beaten because they refused to be interrogated, as they don’t recognize the prosecution’s legitimacy,” she said, adding that some of the prisoners had been languishing in jail for as long as three months without trial.
She added that some prisoners in Al-Hadra Prison had declared a partial hunger strike for the last two weeks to protest their detention.
Ahmed al-Ghamri, spokesman for the prisoners’ defense team, called on international human rights organizations to intervene immediately to rescue the prisoners, who, he said, “are being subject to systematic torture.”
However, an official prison source described the torture claims as mere “rumors.”
The source accused Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood of attempting to garner international sympathy by spreading such “rumors” and trying to turn public opinion against Egypt.
“We apply the law to everybody,” the official told AA. “We don’t discriminate against prisoners based on political affiliations.”
“Rights groups affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood are propagating these rumors with the aim of creating confusion in the run-up to January 25,” which will be the third anniversary of the 2011 uprising that ended the 30-year rule of president Hosni Mubarak.
Morsi’s supporters, for their part, plan to mark the occasion with massive protests against the elected leader’s ouster.