The Nadeem Center for the management and rehabilitation of victims of violence and torture reported the incarceration of 600 children between the ages of 14 and 17 in a Central Security Forces camp in Banha.
Lawyer at the center, Halim Heneish, told Mada Masr on Sunday that they had received more than 20 reports from families claiming their children had been held at the camp for more than eight months. After thorough investigation, the center discovered 600 children at the camp, some of whom they say are injured and have not received medical care.
A report was sent to the prosecutor general on Tuesday demanding visiting rights for the families while the detained children await trial, Heneish said.
The lawyer met with four mothers: Mostafa Osama Mohie El-Din’s mother — a 17- year-old who was shot in the left eye and has been detained since September; Islam Salah’s mother — 17, locked up since August and injured as a result of torture whilst at National Security headquarters in Shubra al-Kheima, and Ahmed Sayed Youssef’s mother — also 17, jailed since February and suffering from a broken leg, according to the center’s report
Brigadier-General Reda Abdel Atty, head of the Human Rights and Social Outreach division at the Interior Ministry, told Mada Masr that the information is false and that if anyone has proof that minors are being illegally detained, they should present it to the authorities.
Independent rights group, “Free the Children,” claims that at least 1000 minors have been detained in Egypt’s prisons over the last year and a half. Marwa Arafa, the group’s coordinator, says most of these minors have been randomly arrested during clashes between protesters and police across the country.
She adds that many of them face flagrant violations inside prisons and detention centers, against Egypt’s Child Law.
The detained children, according to Arafa, are as young as 11 years old, many of whom have been handed harsh prison sentences.