The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) published Monday a letter sent from prison by detained researcher Mina Thabet.
“Dear friends, I have spoken to you shortly before this happened to me, so there is not much I can tell you now, but I always knew it would be my turn [in detention],” Thabet wrote.
Expressing despise at the situation inside prison, Thabet said he spent his first week in solitary confinement.
“But what hurts me more than anything is the accusation I am facing – as far as I understand from the prosecution – of belonging to terrorist and sabotage entities, and that I called for and incited violence!” he wrote.
Thabet wrote that he was astonished at the charges because his cause had been to promote non-violence and defend human rights. “I know I am not alone even though I don’t know how long this will take,” he added.
Thabet was the program director of the religious minorities and marginalised groups at ECRF. He was arrested on 19 May after security forces searched his house and accused him of affiliation with a “terrorist entity, incitement to destruction, attacks on police stations, possession of pamphlets that call for protests and illegal public assembly, disturbing public safety and order, and calling for the overthrow of the regime.”
Several appeals against his detention were rejected, and his detention has been renewed every 15 days. His next renewal session is expected 18 June, according to ECRF.
Ahmed Abdullah, the chairperson of the Board of Trustees at ECRF was arrested from his home in the Fifth Settlement at dawn on 25 April.
According to a lawyer at the ECRF, Doaa Mostafa, Abdullah was taken to a police station in the Fifth Settlement. He was later referred to the prosecution on charges similar to Thabet related to protests that erupted in April against the maritime borders agreement between Egypt and Saudi Arabia.
Security forces conducted nationwide raids in public and private places ahead of that day in attempts to thwart protests.