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Deputy president of Strong Egypt Party reports mistreatment in prison

Mohamed al-Qassas, the Strong Egypt Party’s deputy president, has reported being subject to mistreatment during his detention at the maximum-security Tora Prison complex, including prolonged hours of being handcuffed and blindfolded, according to lawyer Halim Hanish.

Qassas informed his lawyer that he is being kept in solitary confinement in a dark cell at the Aqrab Prison within the complex, is denied time outside the cell and is kept blindfolded when being transferred to prosecution for questioning, Hanish told Mada Masr on Sunday.

The party leader was arrested shortly after he left a wedding at the Police Mosque near Cairo’s Azhar neighborhood on Thursday evening. State Security Prosecution has charged him with joining the Muslim Brotherhood, an organization outlawed in Egypt, and “disseminating false news,” and ordered his detention for 15 days pending further investigations.

His case is now part of a larger case that includes several activists, bloggers and journalists, most prominent of which are blogger Islam al-Rifaei — more popularly known as Khorm — photojournalists Ahmed al-Sakhawy and Ahmed Ali, as well as journalists Ahmed Abdel Aziz and Hossam al-Soueify.

Lawyer Hanish told Mada Masr that interrogations have revolved around Qassas’ upbringing and his political activity, and have not touched upon the charges officially leveled against him.

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