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Human Rights

Al Jazeera cameraman details Egypt jail abuse

Mohammed Badr, freed earlier this month, describes brutality and horrific conditions during seven-month term.

Last updated: 27 Feb 2014 16:52
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Mohamed Badr, an Al Jazeera television cameraman freed from detention in Egypt earlier this month, told a news conference he had been abused and subject to brutality almost daily by security staff during nearly seven months in detention.

Badr described the ordeals he faced in detention on Wednesday, a day before Al Jazeera staff joined journalist protests around the world as part of a Global Day of Action calling for the release of four Al Jazeera journalists currently jailed in Egypt for months without trial.

Badr said he was beaten routinely by guards and described horrific conditions in jail.

"I was transferred to Al Aqrab prison, where all the transferred detainees are stripped of their clothes and walk between two rows of 40 guards, 20 on each side.

"We were beaten and battered all the way long. Cells were two by two and half meters in size with only one open toilet inside.

"We were four persons in the same cell, which was flooded with water. The cell was too small, so we had to sleep in turns.

"There were daily inspections by gaurds who were very humiliating. Our clothes were torn or thrown in the toilet."

He also said that detainees were not allowed to engage in group prayers, which are mandatory in Islam, despite the fact that Egypt is a predominantly Muslim country.

"We were prevented from offering group prayers or attending Friday sermons"

He also said that the prison failed to offer any real medical care.

"Painkillers were the only form of treatment provided to prisoners despite their health issues, even if they were suffering from diabetes or heart diseases.

"One of the diabetic detainees died due to the lack of insulin."

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Al Jazeera
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