This appendix contains example of field testimonials collected by EIPR researchers from suspects and formerly convicted individuals during the past four years.

Warning: The testimonials contain obscene language

Alaa’s Testiomny

(Interview conducted by Dalia Abdel Hamid 2014)

The party was on 4 November, 2013, the Egyptian Valentine’s Day, in a villa in the compound next to the Waha Hotel. The party organizers rented the garden of the villa and the doors were open. It was a swank party, nicely done up. After a while, the police truck came. The party organizer said it was nothing. The police picked out certain people (nine men and a woman who was responsible for the shisha pipes). There were about 300 people at the party, most of them young. The officer approached me and asked me if I’d been drinking and he asked for my ID. Then he told me to come with him so he could see if I’d been drinking.

From that moment until I reached the police truck, me and the other people who were arrested were roughed up, beaten, and insulted. As soon as we got in the truck, they shut off the mobile phones. They took us to the first October police station. Right when we entered, there were lots of insults and curses involving our families and religion. They put us in a room and took our mobile phones and IDs. They tried to film our faces with their mobile phones, so we hid our faces. They put us in a room with desks and locked us in there. Then they began to call us out in pairs. There were lots of police officers in the chief’s office. There was one officer named Tareq al-Ahwal. The officers sat there making fun of us and saying, “Hey there, pretty girl,” and other vile insults. They stripped us and made fun of us and were trying to insert batons in our rear ends. I resisted and was beaten. They put us back in the room and locked us in there from 3 am until the next afternoon. The next day, the station employees came and there was a new round of curses, insults, and severe beatings. They refused to let us go to the bathroom. They would bring anyone who was there to file a police report into the room and tell them, “Look at this. These are some fags we caught sleeping with each other.” They let out some of the jailed prisoners to come look at us, telling them, “So when they’re locked up, you’ll know who they are.”

We were brought before the prosecution the night of 5 November. The prosecutor told me that it was written on the report before him that the officer asked me how long I’d been engaging in deviant behaviour and I responded that I always did it. I told the prosecutor that had not happened. He also told me it was written in the report that they apprehended me while I was sleeping with a man. I told the prosecutor that they had asked me my name and where I lived, and the prosecutor wrote down that I had said that the other statements did not happen. We learned from some junior policemen that the medical examination was the next day. After we were taken to the prosecution, we went to the al-Manashi police station. They beat us and roughed us up, told us to give them all our personal items, and searched us. They wanted to put us by pairs in custody, but we refused and told them we would stay together, so they insulted and beat us. In the end, an officer came and said not to let us spend the night in the custody. We slept in the corridor between the custody cells. The officer left and other people came in on the morning of 6 November. They started to tell the prisoners, “We’ll give you some people to sleep with, but how much will you pay?” We refused to move and agreed that we would all stick together.

On 6 November in the afternoon, we went to the medical examiner’s office in Ramsis. The policemen would not stop the truck in front of the medical examiner’s office, but parked far away and marched us in the street. When someone would ask, they would say, these are some fags we caught sleeping with each other. When we reached the medical examiner’s officer, officers beat and cursed us and said we were trash. They poured water on us. They kept cursing us until the doctors arrived. They examined us, and when I asked the doctor what he would write in the report, he said he wasn’t allowed to tell me. They wrote a preliminary report and sent us back to the prosecution, which asked for medical tests. After that they took us to the Central Security Forces’ camp in 6th of October. We slept there in a room in custody, and woke up there on 7 November. We stayed at the Central Security Forces’ camp until late and then they took us to do the medical tests. They took blood and urine samples to check for AIDS, hepatitis C, and drugs. They then took us to the prosecution, where we were given 15 days and they took us back to the camp. They put us in custody, and then an officer named Khaled came and said to put us in a room by ourselves.

By then, people’s families had started to find out and came to visit the camp. We stayed at the camp three or four days. The judge set an expedited hearing, I think it was Tuesday, 12 November. The day of the hearing, they took us very late—about 4 pm—saying they had no trucks, and by the time we got there, the judge had gone. There was another judge who extended the case to Thursday, 14 November. Our friends had heard and brought many lawyers, and the lawyers tried to argue the case, but the judge said it wasn’t his case. We went back to the camp and then went to the hearing on Thursday. There was a lawyer who spoke about the loopholes in the case and the inconsistencies in the police report and asked for our release. They told us we would wait until Saturday because no order was given. They took us to a police station in the Smart Village, where they told us that a release order was issued, but they would take us to the Kerdasa police station to see if we had any pending cases against us. Right when we got there, they beat us and took our IDs to examine them in the Giza security directorate. They made us cards with our photos in morality violations records and said that many people had outstanding cases against them, so they took us back to the Smart Village. There they told me I had two cases against me, one in Damanhour and one in another governorate. I said that I’d never even been to those governorates. Someone gave the man some money to redo the ID check, and it turned out that me and two others had no cases against us. It was 2 am and they let us go.

Note: at the camp, the bathroom was open only twice a day. The soldiers there were fine, but they tried to cut our hair.

Shahir’s and Mahmoud’s testimony

(Interview conducted by: Dalia Abdel Hamid – Yara Shaarawi – Scott Long – Ramy Youssef)

In a 2014 case, four defendants received prison sentences ranging between three and eight years on charges of habitual debauchery. They were all acquitted on appeal. EIPR researchers met with two of the defendants in a coastal city. They explained that four of them had rented a furnished apartment in Nasr City in Cairo. At around 2 pm, an investigating officer with three informants knocked on the door. The officer said that he wanted to search the apartment for hashish and weapons and to check for the presence of any women in the apartment. Shahir then asked how they could search the apartment without a warrant, and one of the informants began insulting the young men, and told him, “Shut up, do the likes of you even know what a warrant is?”

The informants searched the apartment and said to the officer, “They all look like faggots.” They confiscated women’s clothing they found in the apartment as well as some cosmetics.

In Shahir’s words, “They took us to the Nasr City police station where they confiscated our mobile phones. I kept mine hidden. I sent a text to my brother and deleted the photos on my phone. As soon as we arrived, they started to beat us. They hit our faces and they electrocuted our private parts. An informant said to me, ‘Take off this wig.’ I told him that this was my hair. He said to the officer, ‘Look at his belly button piercing. Look at the shape of his breasts!’ They then took us to a cell and then let us out one by one to see the officer. When it was my turn, the officer showed me photos of people he had found on Mahmoud’s cellphone – one of the people arrested with us. Pointing to one of them he said, ‘Who is this woman?’ I answered that I didn't know. He started saying things like, ‘Ok then, Shosho1! Your girlfriend told us everything.’ Then he started asking me seriously, if I get ‘fucked.’ I said I didn’t. He asked me if I take money in return. I said I didn’t. He asked me how many people like us do we know. I said that we just knew ourselves. He asked if we go out on the street ‘as boys or girls.’ I said, ‘If we go as boys, they harass us a lot on the street.’”

Shahir related that after this an officer of a higher rank came in and they were all presented to him. “He asked the informants if we were whores, and they said, ‘No, they’re faggots.’” The officer and informants started to beat them viciously. Shahir said, “It’s a ‘welcome.’” They were video recording them and they started to write the report.

“I told the officer writing the report, ‘We only rented the apartment a few hours ago. They came in and thought we looked provocative because we have long hair. But we weren’t doing anything.’ The officer said, ‘We caught you practising deviant sexual acts.’ I answered saying, ‘How come? We left the apartment in our clothes.’ The officer answered me, ‘You are lying sons of bitches.’ He wrote a report that wasn't shown to us. They put us outside in custody, behind bars, and told us that we would go before prosecution the following day. We were subjected to a lot of physical harassment, and the officers and informants kept groping us. One of them was threatening us, saying, ‘If you don't let me sleep with you, I’ll take you into detention and there people will fuck you.’”

Shahir described that, “Everyone at the station was surprised when our relatives came to visit. They assumed that we had all run away from our families who now know nothing about us.”

Mahmoud continues:” We were presented before the prosecution on the 2nd of April and they ordered re-investigation and our detention for 4 more days, pending investigations. We were presented before the prosecution more than once and then referred to the Forensic Medicine Authority.

We were four people, we headed to the Forensic Medicine Authority, and examined by a doctor two at a time. As soon as I entered the room, the doctor said, ‘What is that I’m hearing about you? I heard that they caught you fucking each other.’ I told him that we had just rented the apartment on the day they arrested us, and he said: ‘We will see, go in, get undressed, get on your knees and hold the chair. He asked me to do this, so that my anus would be visible while he assess my case.’”

In our first court session, the judge handed down sentences ranging from three to eight years. We then went back to the police station and they told us that they would transfer us to prison. During the transfer, they were intimidating us with talks of what’s going to happen to us there, telling us that we would be raped. When we got to Wadi al-Natrun prison, we were treated well. They placed us alone in a cell where we were apart from the other prisoners. Later, they told us that they would transfer us to the Appeal prison in Bab al-Khalk. This was a horrendous experience. As soon as we got to Bab al-Khalk, we found an informant threatening us. He said, Who will I sleep with first?’ They then transferred us to Gamasa prison, which is high security prison, on September 14. They received us with beatings while people watched.”


Rabi’s testimony

(Interview conducted by: Dalia Abdel Hamid – 3 August 2016)

Rabi said that they were celebrating the marriage of one of their friends and decided to go Bab al-Bahr Bathhouse in Ramsis. After they arrived, changed and went into the pool room, 20 minutes later a police force of about 15 people raided the bathhouse accompanied by a TV presenter and a filming crew.

Rabi continued: “The police force beat and insulted us. We were wearing nothing but towels, and Mona al-Iraqi was standing there filming us very proudly, instructing others to film us as well and telling us “You are sexual deviants”. Then they took us to Abdeen police station where they refused to let us get dressed. There, an informant would say so-and-so practices the act with so-and-so, and so-and-so practices the act with this person, and Ahmed Hashad was writing down what he said. Then they started to film us again. They beat us and insulted us again. They let four people go, one of them was not Egyptian and 26 (21 plus 5, the owners and staff of the Bathhouse) of us remained. They made us sweep the whole police station and at 6am they gave us clothes, instructing us to wear them inside-out.”

The next day they were referred to the prosecution and according to Rabi’s testimony, the prosecutor insulted and cursed them, adding: “He asked us what happened in the bathhouse. We said nothing”, the prosecutor renewed their detention for four days pending investigations and they were transferred to Azbakiya police station. Rabie described the days they spent there before being referred again to the prosecution as a nightmare.

He said: “They took us after that to Azbakiya police station where we were beaten and insulted. They put belts around our necks and made us bark like dogs. No one knew anything about where we were because they took our phones. They were insulting us day and night, telling us we were faggots not men. They told us that we would be in jail for 10 years. They would wake us up at 6 am, make us take off our clothes in the cold, turn on the air conditioning and beat us.

Four days later, we went to the prosecution. The prosecutor was very sympathetic and treated us well, but the media got in and filmed us without our knowledge. There were rights lawyers attending with us, and later our families got us other lawyers. The prosecution renewed our detention for another four days and requested that we be inspected by the Forensic Medicine Authority.

They took us walking from Azbakiya to the Forensic Medicine Authority in Ramses. We were handcuffed to each other in sevens and were barefoot. Whenever anyone asked them who are these and what did they do, they answered, ‘These are the sexual deviants of Bab al-Bahr bathhouse .’ They brought us back the same way, and refused to let us wear slippers even though it was a long distance.

When we went back to the police station, there was a second round of beatings and insults. Our families came to visit us that day and they were treated very badly. The police insulted them as well and told them that their sons were sexual deviants. Seven days after the Forensic Authority [examination], an officer came and told us, you were all used, and it would be better if anyone is doing anything to come forward and tell us and we would let them go. They let thugs into our rooms to beat us and the officers would tell us that we would never be let out. One of the people with us was an old man, who looked like he was in his seventies. An officer tied him up every day and ordered him to bark. They would make us stand for hours with our hands raised against the wall. Every morning they took LE15 from us to get cleaning products for the station. We saw a judge, then they wanted to transfer us to prison. We went to be checked for criminal records and were then taken to Tora Prison. The prison refused to take us, but when we went back to the police station, the treatment was better. They stopped beating and insulting us and they would give us tea and cigarettes when we asked. We went to our second court session, which was adjourned and in the next session, Mona al-Iraqi and Ahmed Hashad refused to come. Then the judge acquitted us and suddenly I found myself talking to television presenters and journalists normally, after being afraid.

Roberto’s testimony

(Interview conducted by: Dalia Abdel Hamid – 31 July 2016)

Roberto, an Italian citizen in his forties, told EIPR via Skype that he had lived in Egypt for five and a half years and that he had a resident visa that he would renew annually. One evening, during the month of Ramadan in 2015, a little after the evening prayer, between 6 and 7 pm, Roberto was on his way home in Cairo. As he was looking for a taxi in Mesaha Square in Dokki, he was approached.

Two people in civilian clothes approached me and asked to see my passport. Of course I then asked them who they were and why they wanted to see it. They told me they were National Security and they want to check my passport for security reasons. I asked to see their identity cards to prove that they are police. But they didn't show me anything. They continued to insist on seeing my passport. I told them that I didn't have my passport on me because it was at the embassy and that I only had my Italian ID card. But still they insisted on seeing the passport, and said I had to go with them. All of this was without me seeing any proof of identity that actually shows that these people work for the police. I expressed surprise at their requests and told them I could drop by the police station the next day with my passport. They started to get hostile. Whenever I tried to explain that I wouldn’t go with them, their hostility increased then I noticed that other people, also dressed in civilian clothes, were approaching me from behind. They grabbed me by the shoulders and bundled me into a microbus.

I was screaming because I thought I was being kidnapped. There were not a lot of people out on the street because it was the time to break the fast. They took my backpack that had my phone in it. I asked them to give me my phone so I could call the embassy and they told me I would be able to call later. I asked them where we were going but got no answer. That’s when I really started to panic. I opened the window and started to scream hoping that someone would help me but they stopped me and handcuffed me. There were four of them and I wasn’t able to resist. I was in shock and didn't know what to do. This was the first time I had ever been in a situation like this. A few minutes later, we got to the Mogamma. I asked them what we were doing there at this time of the evening when it was closed. They didn't answer me, of course. As we walked in, I tried to call for help from anyone passing by but they pushed me quickly in the direction of the elevator. We went up to one of the top floors and they took me into an office.

There were people talking and writing what seemed like a report. When they were done, they asked me to sign. I told them that I wouldn’t sign anything and I asked again to make a call to the embassy. They searched my bag, my papers and showed me two mobile phones. One was mine and the other I knew nothing about, which I told them. At the time, I didn’t understand what was going on and it was only later that I figured out what they were trying to do. After this, they took me to the microbus again and we headed to Dokki police station. They gave my backpack to one of the police officers there. They told me I would be spending the night there. Of course I refused and I again requested to call the embassy. I told them I would not spend the night at the station, so they led me forcibly into the detention room. It was a very small room without any windows or ventilation, around 5 meters by 5 meters, and lit by only one light bulb.

I was feeling completely desperate. The other detainees tried to calm me down but none of them could speak English. When they realized I was a foreigner, they called for another detainee who they said was half-Egyptian half-European. It turned out he was also Italian. He came and talked with me and was able to calm me down. It was comforting to talk to someone in my mother tongue in this situation. He explained to me the rules of detention, including that new detainees are not to use mobile phones smuggled in by others. He agreed to call his own family and ask them to call the embassy and tell them that I am detained at the Dokki police station. There are people I know personally at the embassy.

The next day, this person’s father went to the embassy. And on the same day, the consul and an embassy lawyer came to the police station and tried to get me out as fast as possible, although they were not told what charges I was facing. After several hours, the police told them that I had been arrested because I organized group sex parties for gay people and that they had arrested me in a hotel room. The consul and the lawyer asked them to bring the surveillance tapes from the hotel to prove this. But the officer told them, “No need, it’s not necessary.” The consul said, “It doesn't matter. Even if you have no need for it, we still need it.” The police responded that they had been trailing me for a while and know all about my activities and tried to ask him about people I know, who I spend my time with and the places I have visited in Egypt. I told the consul that I would not tell them anything. That’s when I realized what kind of information they were after. For a few days after that, they continued to ask the same questions. The embassy assigned me three lawyers.

It was the worst in the detention room. It had no ventilation and very little lighting, and I couldn't read or do anything. I heard the cries of people being beaten and tortured, although no one physically harmed me. I knew that these things happen in Egyptian police stations but to hear about something is completely different that witnessing it yourself.

Days later, they took me to another building. I cannot say for sure if this was to see the prosecution or an investigative judge, but they said that the man did not arrive and that the appointment had been postponed. The idea of spending another week in detention was hell for me because time in detention does not pass. We are not allowed visits, and each day I would see the consul and the lawyers for just a few minutes. I started to get to know my fellow detainees. Most of them were very kind people but they are unable to help one another. The following week they took me to the same place and said the same thing. A postponement of another week meant spending two weeks in detention because the following week was Eid.

In those two weeks I talked a lot to people at the embassy and begged them to make sure that I get no more postponements, and I asked to be tried as soon as possible. After the two weeks, I went to the judge with three lawyers. He looked at my documents and said with astonishment, “Why are you here?” I said, “You tell me.” Within a few minutes, the judge had written down a few words and said to me, “You are free now.” I went back to the police station still in handcuffs. I expected to be released straight-away. When I asked them when I would be allowed to leave, they told me that they still needed to finish some paperwork and it was late. I said that they don't need an entire day to finish the paperwork, but they told me I had to wait until the next day.

Five more days passed as I waited in the same way. The embassy had run out of patience and started to communicate with the Interior and Justice Ministries to get them to speed up my release. The police were telling me that I have to go back to my country but the embassy was not aware of this. There was no clarification why I should go back to Europe. My brother came to visit me, booked me a return ticket and gave it to me. I asked to go home to collect my things. I had been living in that house for years. My life is there. They told me that it was not possible, that there was no time and that I had to go directly to the airport. They also refused to give me back my phone.

A National Security officer came the next day to accompany me to the airport. I said goodbye to my fellow detainees — we had become close by then. Some of my friends had gathered in front of the police station to say goodbye to me before I left. The officer treated me well and gave me a chance to say goodbye to them. At the airport, I had to wait for the plane in a detention room. It was horrible and filthy. Overall, I had spent 27 days at the Dokki police station.

I am telling my story now because my fellow detainees asked me before I left to tell their stories and the circumstances of their detention to those outside those walls. People might say that Giulio Regeni is an individual case, but he’s not. Other foreigners have been subjected to many violations at the hands of the Interior Ministry and even more Egyptians are subjected to the same violations.”


Firas’ testimony

(Interview conducted by: Mohamed al-Kashef)

In June 2015, Firas was headed to Mesaha Square in Dokki to meet a person he had been conversing with online.

Faris siad in an interivew conducted by one of EIPR’s researchers: “He had asked me to buy condoms and some supplies for the evening. I went there with these things — which were later confiscated as evidence for the case — and I waited. He was late, so I sent him a message saying that he’s late and that I have the right to leave, and he replied apologizing and blaming the traffic.

Later, a black car with a driver stopped. I could see a driver as well as a passenger in the backseat. He asked me to sit next to him and said that we would go to his place. The car took a turn around Mesaha Square. It was then that I was surprised by a checkpoint. One of the men at the checkpoint was saying to park there and addressed him in such a way that I understood he was a police officer. I opened the car door to try and escape but seven or eight people chased me. They caught me and beat me up, insulting me with the worst words possible. They tied my left hand and tried to tie my right. I resisted. At that moment I saw a person coming from a police microbus with a baton. I was scared to be hit on my face so I gave in. Then they took me to the microbus as they continued to beat me. They took me to the Mogamma and into the elevator up to the 8th floor.

There, I met an officer of a rank higher than the one who had tricked me. His name was Tamer. He asked me to turn on my phone and enter my password. They took my personal chats with friends and acquaintances and printed them out. I spent the night there. The next day they told me that they would take me straight to the prosecution and as a favour to me they would not take me to the police station. Officer Tamer came to me and gently asked me to tell the prosecution a story in which I confess to being gay and to having been assaulted when I was younger — the incident that supposedly turned me gay — and that I regret what I have done. He convinced me that this was in my best interest, and believing him I agreed.

Upon my return from prosecution, I thought I would be taken back to the Mogamma but I saw that I was being taken to Dokki police station, which really disturbed me. I was so frightened that I started crying. There was a shift officer at the station with his colleagues reading a print out of my chats. As soon as they saw me, they started to insult me. One of them beat me up as the others continued to laugh until I was led to detention.

There I found that there are two kinds of detention. One is luxurious and air conditioned and is where people with wealth and connections stay. I stayed there the first night. The other one is bad and small has no furniture. The next day they took me to the Forensic Authority and a doctor examined me and wrote a medical report that the officer with me took. He asked me about the truth of the report. I didn't reply because I had no idea what was in the report. He beat me and insulted me. He then took me to the police station and there they transferred me to the second kind of detention with murderers and drug dealers. I found out who the prison warden was and paid him LE100 so that I wouldn’t be made to sleep next to the toilet and so he would treat me well. At first, the other detainees treated me better because I paid money but later they just treated me well because I had been in detention with them for some time. Officers came three times a day to check on the detainees and they threw a “beating party” for me and insulted me every two or three days.

After three weeks, there was a verdict against me and a one year sentence. The lawyer appealed and, about six weeks after my arrest, the Court of Appeal acquitted me. I spent two weeks after that at the police station where they denied me visitation rights and denied having me in their custody. I didn’t know that then, and I didn’t see any of my friends and I was running out of money.

I was taken to National Security (situated on Mehwar road in 6th of October City) about five times in these two weeks. I wasn’t beaten or insulted in National Security but I was subjected to psychological terrorism. I kept insisting that I am innocent and not guilty. I knew none of the people they asked me about. I held onto my story so I wouldn't harm anyone and denied the story that officer Tamer mentioned in the interrogation report. Every time I went to National Security I bought some things (food, cigarettes, juice) for the person taking me back and forth. I paid the price of transportation in full. These visits were also intercepted with other visits to the department of passports and immigration in the Mogamma. They took me there around four times. On the last visit, I learned that there was a decision from National Security to deport me. The policeman who was with me was kind and allowed me to call a friend to bring me money and some personal items because I had run out of money.

At the department of passports and immigration, they told me that I had two options: Either wait in Qanater Prison until the International Organization for Migration or UNHCR get me a ticket to the country that I want to travel to, or arrange for the price of a ticket myself with the help of my family and friends. I chose the second option so that I wouldn’t be detained for a longer period, then they forced me to sign a paper stating that I forgo my refugee status in Egypt and that I am leaving for another country of my own free will due to personal circumstances.

My friends booked me a ticket on that last day I was at the department of passports and immigration. The date of departure was two days later. The next day, I was taken to the airport detention where I spent one night.

On the day of my flight, an officer told me that there is someone who wants to talk to me on an airport officer’s telephone. I went to the officer’s office and found that it was a call from a UNCHR employee telling me that my case was a priority and that I would be resettled in a European country in two or three weeks, a month at the most. She said that they were working on it and had sent my file to a number of embassies. I refused to listen to her advice to stay in Egypt and decided to travel. I asked her to transfer my file to the country where I was heading so it would facilitate the completion of the paperwork there. However, she declined and didn't help me transfer my file from Egypt.

Sameh’s testimony 

(Interview conducted by: Ahmed Mahrous and Dalia Abdel Hamid - August 2016)

In July 2016, Sameh agreed to meet a person in Tahrir Square. When he arrived he was surprised to be arrested by the police. In an interview with EIPR researchers in August 2016 in Cairo, Sameh said that he was arrested in Tahrir square and he was taken to the morality police unit in the Mogamma..

He said, “They were beating me all the way from the square to the Mogamma. They took me up to the 10th floor and the officer there insisted that I confess that something happened to me when I was younger — a sexual assault — that made me regularly practice debauchery. I rejected all these statements.”

Sameh continues his story saying that they placed him in another room full of police personnel and they handcuffed him to one of the drawers. Sameh says, “I asked the policemen when all of this will be over. They said, ‘Don't worry, you’ll go home.’ I then begged to meet the officer so they insulted me and said, ‘What do you want? You are a faggot who gets fucked’ etc. I told them, ‘You have no evidence against me and you can even examine me medically.’”

“They took me to an officer of a higher rank than the one I had met on the floor below who said to me, ‘We are doctors and we are going to treat you,’ while pointing at certificates on the wall that said he had experience in curing homosexuality. He was talking in a very condescending way. There was a man with him who kept yelling at me to confess. I continued to insist on what I had already said.”

Sameh was then taken for a criminal record check at Qasr al-Nil police station where he was subjected to insults and was verbally harassed by police personnel. They placed him in a small detention room, around 20 meters square, along with 40 other detainees. The place was filthy and full of insects. The toilet was unbearable. Sameh said that most of those who were in detention with him were there for cases of rape, violent theft or the like. He called his brother using a mobile phone that had been smuggled in. When his brother came and paid money to the police, he was moved to a better detention room. Sameh adds, “If my brother was late in coming and paying them, I would have gotten beaten again and verbally harassed.”

Sameh was referred to the prosecution, he says that the opportunity allowed for him to give his testimony, was very limited. He denied all accusation during the prosecution interrogation. In the end, the prosecutor told him, “I am not convinced with what you said, don’t do this again”. The interrogation lasted for a half an hour, while Sameh was kept standing and handcuffed.

On the day of the trial, a police personnel tightened the handcuffs too much, so Sameh requested that he eases the handcuffs a bit. The police personnel bashed him and insulted him. There were six other suspects also accused of debauchery and they were all acquitted. He only got to know later, after he was returned to the police station because he was not allowed to attend the court session and remained held in detention.

Ill-treatment is not limited to the morality police or the police station staff. Sameh related that even after he was acquitted, he was taken to the criminal register. Sameh said, “I went with five others who were also acquitted in debauchery cases. The employee registering criminal records was very rude and disrespectful to us. He insulted us and made fun of us. He left us waiting in a small corner for around three and half hours where we were not allowed to sit, eat or drink before he finally took down our information.”

1A term of endearment or nickname/diminutive usually reserved for women (Translator’s note)