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Rights groups condemn treatment of imprisoned political activist
Published in Daily News Egypt on 16 - 08 - 2010

CAIRO: A group of six human rights organizations has condemned the imprisonment and treatment of a political activist arrested in May during a demonstration.
Ahmed Abou Douma was convicted on May 22, 2010 of assaulting police officers and received a six-month prison sentence. This was reduced to three months on appeal.
Riot police charged protestors during the May 3 demonstration held in Cairo's Tahrir Square, after protestors attempted to push their way through a police barricade and march to parliament. Riot police physically attacked protestors, leading to clashes.
One riot police officer was filmed using a long plank of wood as an improvised weapon to attack the protestors.
According to a statement issued by the six human rights organizations and published by the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, Douma was himself assaulted by riot police officers during the demonstration and a case lodged against two officers will begin on Oct. 2.
The statement suggests that Douma's imprisonment in the El-Qata high security prison is designed to “intimidate other young people so they'd stop demanding a taste of life without the state of emergency.”
Douma is being held in solitary confinement and is only released from his cell one hour a day, the rights groups say.
Poor sanitary conditions in the cell and polluted water mean that he has developed health problems for which he is being denied medical treatment, the statement says.
The rights groups demand in the statement that Douma be transferred to Damanhour prison.


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