Egypt: Unjustly jailed couple “Aisha El-Shater and M. Abo-Horeira” tried by Emergency Court

Aisha El-Shater, 41, daughter of Muslim Brotherhood senior leader Khairat El-Shater, and her husband lawyer Mohamed Abo Horeira are on trial by the Emergency State Security Court on bogus charges

These bogus and trumped up charges are stemming from their family affiliations and peaceful exercise of their human rights.

The Egyptian authorities have subjected Aisha El-Shater to torture by holding her in prolonged solitary confinement, barring any family visits for more than three and a half years and deliberately denying her access to adequate healthcare even though she has a serious and potentially life-threatening health condition.

Aisha El-Shater, daughter of senior Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat El-Shater, and her husband lawyer Mohamed Abo Horeira have been arbitrarily detained for over three and a half years, solely for peacefully exercising their human rights and for their family affiliations.

On 23 August 2021, after spending more than 32 months in pre-trial detention, prosecutors indicted them and referred them to trial by the Emergency State Security Court (ESSC) on charges of joining, financing and supporting a “terrorist group.

 The trial began on 11 September 2021 and has been adjourned to 13 June 2022.

Officials at al-Qanater women’s prison held Aisha El-Shater in solitary confinement in a small poorly ventilated cell, without a bathroom, from January 2019 until December 2020. Guards forced her to wear light clothes in her unheated cell during cold winter months and regularly conducted searches of her cell, confiscating her hygiene products and other personal belongings.

Since her detention, the authorities have denied her any family visits, and barred any written or phone communication with her family and lawyers. This treatment amounts to torture, a crime under international law. Aisha El- Shater has aplastic anemia, a rare and serious condition affecting the blood, which increases the risk of infections and uncontrolled bleeding.

Despite this, the authorities have denied her access to adequate and specialized healthcare in an outside hospital. Her health deteriorated in detention, and she was admitted, while handcuffed, to Al-Qasr al-Eini hospital twice in October 2019, with significant bleeding, and was given a platelet transfusion.

Since December 2020, she has been held at the al-Qanater prison clinic, but she requires specialist and ongoing treatment in adequately equipped facilities, not available in prison. During the 15 May 2022 trial hearing, the ESSC ordered for Aisha El-Shater’s examination by a committee of three doctors to advise on whether she needs treatment outside prison.

As she is banned from communicating with the outside word, her family and lawyers have no information on whether the examination has taken place.

“Aisha El-Shater and Mohamed Abo Horeira should immediately and unconditionally be released and all charges against them are dropped as their detention and prosecution stem solely from their relationship to a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader and from the exercise of their human rights,”  a report by Amnesty International stated, adding that until their release:

“They should be provided with the means to regularly communicate with their family and lawyers and provided with access to adequate health care including outside prison,” the report stated.

Amnesty calls for release of Aishe and her husband

On Thursday, Amnesty International called on Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to release Aisha Khairat El-Shater and her husband, Mohamed Abo-Horeira, who have been detained by the Egyptian authorities for years and are being tried before emergency state security courts.

The rights group appealed to the Egyptian authorities to release El-Shater, and Abu Huraira, and to enable her to obtain appropriate medical treatment outside prison, stressing that she was subjected to torture and her life was at risk due to medical negligence. El-Shater suffers from serious blood problems.

According to the rights group, she has been in solitary confinement for a long time and is forbidden from necessary health care, family visits, and communication with lawyers. El-Shater is being held in solitary confinement in a cramped cell with no ventilation or toilet.

The group called on Sisi to release El-Shater and her husband unconditionally and drop all charges against them.

It also called for giving them all opportunities to communicate with their families and lawyers and to ensure they receive the necessary health care until their release.