Following her arrest in November 2018, sources told Amnesty International that Aisha el-Shater was subjected to severe beating, electric shocks and enforced disappearance. Her predicament did not end when the authorities ordered her transfer to al-Qanater Women’s Prison in late January 2019. Instead, she has been subjected to prolonged solitary confinement in conditions that amount to torture.
According to medical sources, she suffers from aplastic anaemia, a rare and serious condition affecting the blood. Her health deteriorated rapidly and she was admitted with significant bleeding to Al-Qasr al-Ainy hospital, where she was treated with a platelet transfusion. However, her condition requires ongoing specialist and intensive treatment in a properly equipped medical facility. In her current situation, her life remains at serious risk due to sepsis or bleeding.
“The inhumane conditions to which the Egyptian authorities are subjecting Aisha put her life at serious risk. We are deeply concerned about her deteriorating health and the alarming and abusive conditions in which she is being held,” said Najia Bounaim, North Africa Campaigns Director at Amnesty International.
“The Egyptian authorities must immediately ensure that Aisha is transferred to a hospital with the necessary facilities to provide her with adequate medical care. They should also end her solitary confinement and allow her to receive regular family visits.”
On 1 November 2018, Aisha el-Shater, 39, was arrested along with at least 18 other individuals, including her husband Mohamed Abo Horira. On 21 November, she appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution and was held in pre-trial detention pending investigation for “membership in a terrorist group”. Since then, a prosecutor and later a judge have been renewing her detention in almost automatic hearings.
Before Aisha’s arrest, she spoke out about the victims on human rights violations including enforced disappearance, torture and ill-treatment in places of detention. Her detention likely stems from these activities and is therefore arbitrary.
“The ill-treatment of Aisha el-Shater amounts to torture. The Egyptian authorities must take immediate and effective measures to end these violations and bring those responsible to justice,” said Najia Bounaim. (Source: Amnesty Intl.)