By Shereen Kamal
“So you’re the photographer who’s not eating and making all that fuss?” said a number of officers who had confronted press photographer Ahmed Gamal Ziada, who is currently detained in Abo Zaabal prison and is on hunger strike The officers allegedly proceeded to beat him and burn his belongings.
The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) filed a report to the Attorney General on 8 December, concerning the alleged assault.
Ahmed Abdel Naby, an AFTE lawyer, said the incident followed Ziada’s complaints to the prison’s health inspectors, regarding his inhumane treatment at the prison and the constant violation of his rights.
Ziada has been on a hunger strike since August. He was arrested after taking pictures of protests at Al-Azhar University on 28 December 2013. The accusations against him included damaging government property and assaulting security forces.
Abdel Naby believes that the investigation into the alleged assault should start as soon as possible, and that Ziada should be examined by forensic doctors. Abdel Naby fears that the longer they wait, the less apparent evidence of the assault will be on Ziada’s body.
A spokesperson at the Ministry of Interior told Daily News Egypt that they were unaware of the incident, and denied knowledge of who Ahmed Gamal Ziada was.
Mokhtar Mounir, the AFTE lawyer who filed the report, has stated on social media that the first hearing will take place on 12 December 2014.
Abdel Naby claimed that “one of the main reasons why people protested on 25 January 2011 was the violation of human rights by officers, and yet the same mistakes are still being committed on a daily basis”.