Political Prisoners of a Revolution
As a result of the mass demonstrations that took place in the great cities of Egypt, many people accused of supporting these political uprisings are suffering unjust consequences. Since the early days of the Egyptian revolution in 2011, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF), the strong arm of the Egyptian Military and now the prevailing Egyptian authority, has detained thousands of civilians without any access to lawyers and an opportunity to review the evidence against them. Since assuming power the SCAF has failed to discuss serious human rights problems in the country and in many cases has exacerbated them.
In January 2012, I embarked on a personal project to shed light on this very sensitive topic and for the second time since the Egyptian uprisings began, I found myself in downtown Cairo. Not photographing protests nor demonstrations, rather searching for individual stories. Some victims I have encountered have remained in detention for up to a year, along with serious violations of their human rights, acts of torture, as well as sustaining inhumane conditions. It also appears clear that a lot of these people were very young in age, not extreme protesters, happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time and was abducted at the hands of the Egyptian military. There have been cases of Egyptian children abducted by SCAF and prosecuted through Egypt’s adult criminal justice and state security courts, where some have been sentenced for up to 15 years in Tora security prison. Additionally, families of loved ones absconded by SCAF without warning are also victims, often provided with no information and who are still awaiting a trial date for their child that determines a future sentence.
Through these photographs, I attempt to portray and uncover the intimate stories of some of these people, provoke question, and give voice to the voiceless among the thousands of detainees who are held behind bars in Egypt, unknown for weeks, months, and possibly years.