04/15/2019

Urgent Action: Transgender Woman Held in All-Male Prison (Egypt: UA 43.19)


Malak al-Kashef is a 19-year-old transgender woman human rights defender, arbitrarily detained in the all-male Mazra’at Tora prison. On 6 March 2019, National Security Agency (NSA) officers arrested Malak at her family’s residence in Giza. Malak’s arrest was part of a massive arrest campaign that followed the 27 February fire incident at Cairo’s main train station, which killed 25 people. Malak is facing the trumped-charges of “aiding a terrorist organization” and “misusing social media to commit a crime punishable by law”. On March 10, the authorities subjected Malak to a forced anal examination at a government hospital, where she was also subjected to other forms of sexual assault.

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  1. Write a letter in your own words or using the sample below as a guide to one or both government officials listed. You can also email, fax, call or Tweet them.
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Public Prosecutor Nabil Sadek
Office of the Public Prosecutor,
Dar alQada Al-Ali, Downtown
Cairo, Arab Republic of Egypt
Fax: +202 2577 4716
Ambassador Yasser Reda
Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt
3521 International Ct NW, Washington DC 20008
Phone: 202 895 5400 I Fax: 202 244 5131
Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @EgyptEmbassyUSA
Salutation: Dear Ambassador

Dear Counsellor,

Malak al-Kashef is a 19-year-old transgender woman human rights defender currently arbitrarily detained in solitary confinement at the all-male Mazra’at Tora Prison. On 6 March 2019, Malak was abducted by National Security Agency (NSA) officers from her family’s residence in Giza, in relation to her online posts calling for protests following the 27 February fire incident at Ramses train station, in Cairo. On 2 April, a Supreme State Security Prosecutor extended Malak’s 15-day arbitrary detention for a third time. Malak is facing the trumped-up charges of “aiding a terrorist organization” and “misusing social media to commit a crime punishable by law” in case 1739/2018. Malak was arrested along with at least 35 other people.

On 10 March, Malak was subjected to a forced anal examination at a government hospital, where she also subjected to other forms of sexual assault by medical staff, according to her lawyer. These acts constitute a form of torture and other ill-treatment, which violate the UN Convention against Torture (CAT), the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), and the African Convention on Human and Peoples’ Rights. Egypt is party to all three treaties. Amnesty International is deeply concerned that Malak’s continued detention in an all-male facility renders her vulnerable to further sexual harassment, assault and rape by the detaining authorities and other inmates.

I urge you to drop all the charges brought against Malak al-Kashef and to immediately and unconditionally release her as she is a prisoner of conscience solely detained for peacefully exercising her rights to freedom of expression and freedom of assembly. Pending her release, I urge you to ensure that Malak is protected from torture and other forms of ill-treatment, including sexual violence, and that her detention conditions are in line with international standards. I call on you to end medical examinations to determine whether a suspect has engaged in anal sex, as such examinations constitute torture.

Yours sincerely,

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