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Released 6 April members claim abuse in jail

Three members of Egypt's April 6 Youth Movement plan to sue Egypt's president and interior minister for what they describe as 'inhumane' treatment suffered during their month-long detention

Ahram Online, Monday 13 May 2013
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Members of Egypt's 6 April Youth Movement who were detained during a March protest against the interior minister – and eventually released on 29 April – held a Monday press conference at which they claimed to have been mistreated while in detention at Cairo's Al-Aqrab Prison.

"They [police] dealt with us in a very violent way; we were physically and psychologically tortured even though our protest was peaceful," said Zizo Abdou, one of the recently released 6 April members.

Abdou – along with activists Mohamed Mostafa and Mamdouh Abu-Adam – were arrested on 29 March, when security forces dispersed a protest held by the youth group outside Interior Minister Mohamed Ibrahim's residence in New Cairo.

At the March rally, protesters had brandished women's undergarments, accusing the ministry of "prostituting" itself to the administration of President Mohamed Morsi.

The activists were charged with rioting and resisting authorities.

On 29 April, a New Cairo court ordered the four activists' release. It remains unclear, however, whether or not all the charges against them have been dropped.

At Monday's press conference, 6 April members expressed their solidarity with the released detainees, stressing that the conference was not only devoted to what they went through, but also to alleged violations against detained activists in general.

Group members went on to say that four detained members of Egypt's anti-government 'Black Bloc' group were also being mistreated and deprived of medical attention.

Abdou also stated that, while in detention, he and his colleagues had met several people arrested "by mistake," including a homeless, handicapped child who had been tortured.

"Do the revolutionaries deserve this? We will prepare a detailed report on what we have been through since our arrest and demand compensation from both Morsi and the interior minister," Abdou said.

The April 6 Youth Movement had supported Morsi in June 2012 presidential elections against Mubarak-era minister Ahmed Shafiq.

The movement has become increasingly critical of Morsi's policies, however, accusing the president – who hails from the Muslim Brotherhood group – of failing to live to up to his pro-revolution campaign promises.

Earlier in April, human rights lawyer Ahmed Emam told Ahram Online that some 2,000 people had been arrested during various political clashes in Cairo since the beginning of the current year.

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