Life after prison becomes really difficult for thousands of former political prisoners after their release from Egyptian prisons.
Well-informed sources told us that thousands of political prisoners’ files are under controlled by the security services, specifically the National Security Sector and the General Intelligence, and not the public prosecution or the judiciary.
In a survey we had conducted with a number of former detainees – including political activists, Muslim Brotherhood members, or members from liberal parties, or even ordinary citizens who criticised the regime on social media – results confirmed that many of former prisoners were unable to work due to security harassment.
Head of the April 6 Movement Sherif Al-Ruby was one of those victims. He was re-arrested 4 months after his release. He told us that he was unable to find a job to support his family due to security harassment.
Al-Ruby pointed to the suffering of the former detainees after their release, saying that he could be arrested after this interview.
“Any political detainee when he is released (from prison), whatever his condition, is in a very bad situation,” he said.
The lawyer Mahienour Al-Masry – a former detainee – quoted one of the lawyers who attended the interrogation with Al-Ruby, as saying that the public prosecution convicted him for social media posts shedding light on life after prison.
Al-Ruby explained to the prosecutor his difficult economic situation as a jobless father of 3 students, she added.
Al-Ruby’s statements sparked outrage among social media users, who expressed solidarity with former prisoners’ issue.
Over the past year, the Egyptian regime has fired thousands of employees, in health, education, endowments ministries over their political affiliations although they were not arrested or convicted to any political charge.
In October 2019, the former Egyptian Minister of Education, Tarek Shawky, dismissed 1,070 teachers for allegedly adopting extremist ideas.
The move came in flagrant violation of Law No. 10 of 1972 which states that employees cannot be fired without following their disciplinary and dismissal process.
However, the Egyptian parliament made amendments to the law in November 2020, amid sharp rights criticism.
In this regard, we strongly condemn the unprecedented restrictions imposed on former political detainees’ daily life and we call on Egyptian authorities to put hands-off them and protect their right to a decent life guaranteed by international and local charters and laws.