Egypt: Permanent Imprisonment, The Series of “Repeated Imprisonment” Runs Contrary to Justice
Entry type: Single project
Publishing organisation: Al Manassa, ARIJ
Organisation size: Small
Publication date: 2022-11-29
Language: Arabic, English
Authors: Isis Qassim (Pseudonym)
An Egyptian journalist with eleven years of experience in journalism. Worked for Al-watan, Al-arabi Al-Nasseri newspapers and Website’s Al-ain, WeladElbalad. Participated in investigative of local government project of ARIJ.
He conducted many investigative reports. I am interested in justice and human rights.
He won several local and international awards.
He is passionate about reading and analyzing court rulings and documents and listening to testimonies of former prisoners.
This investigation sheds light on five different stories that reveal the efforts by the general prosecutor and its special arm (national security forces) to prove conviction of instead of searching for the truth. The five cases show that the security department follows two main patterns of procedural legalization in the act of “rotating prisoners” or the issuing of “recycled detention orders”. This is a digital investigative report, supported with open source data.
Unfortunately, the names of imprisoned people mentioned in this investigation are still behind bars. One of them needs a heart surgery, and the other has not been heard of since 7 years, in which he was cut off his family and visits to him were stopped. Egyptian authorities released 863 prisoners in the past nine months, but in that same period, it imprisoned 2559 people, according to a report published by the Egyptian Front for Human Rights. After publishing this investigation, the journalist still receives phone calls from the imprisoned families who want to talk about their loved ones, and need help and support.
In this investigative report, the journalist included audio recordings and videos of currently imprisoned families, in addition to those released and re-detained. The investigation presents also video recordings with experts commenting on the issue, in addition to questions by the general prosecutor and answers by victims. The investigation also includes a timeline of the release decisions dates, and dates of re-detaining, with charges similar to the previous ones. The investigation also includes designs of imprisoned name, imprisonment date, type of recycled detention order, and the health condition prior to their death. Infographics have been used to design an interactive map. Finally, major terminologies used in the investigation have been highlighted for more clarity.
Context about the project:
There are two things to look at in this investigation: first, last March, more than one legal source have been detained. The journalist had exchanged messages and letters with them. The journalist believed security courses were at the verge of exposing him. It was a hard period of time in which writing and finishing the investigation became a burden. Second, there is always a continuous fear that relatives of the detainees, whose names were mentioned in the report, might face different types of harassment after the publication of the report.
What can other journalists learn from this project?
Journalists can learn more about searching for the right hypothesis for an investigative report especially when reading the legal documents and statements by the general prosecutor.