Political Prisoners of a Revolution is an ongoing project that explores the lives of Egyptians who have been effected by extensive prison sentences for their political views and/ or actions. Some victims 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. Since January 28, 2011, the Supreme Council of Armed Forces (SCAF) have detained thousands of civilians without any access to lawyers and an opportunity to review the evidence against them.
My aim is to give voice to the voiceless among political prisoners and their families in and outside of Cairo, Egypt. These images are an attempt to portray and uncover the intimate stories of some of the individuals, and bring greater awareness to the thousands who go unknown for weeks, months, and possibly years that are held behind bars. 2012
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 January 28, 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. According to human rights groups, it is not clear how many people are behind bars in Egypt for political activities. Since assuming power the SCAF has failed to discuss several 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 or demonstrations, rather searching for individuals who had been captured or abducted by the Supreme Council of Armed Forces and who were detained inside a military prison for being part of or in the vicinity of sudden uprisings following the revolution. 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 nearby 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, and young women who have been forced to take virginity tests which is an act of torture in itself. Additionally, families of loved ones absconded by SCAF without warning are also victims experiencing hardship, often provided with no information.
This visual documentation aims to address issues such as social psychological scars, post-conflict experiences, feelings of abandonment, the transition back to normalcy and how individuals and families are coping with the hardship and the struggles for their rights in the ongoing aftereffects of the Egyptian Revolution. Through these photographs, I attempt to portray and uncover the intimate stories of some of these people, provoke question, give voice to the voiceless, and bring greater awareness about the thousands of detainees who are held behind bars in Egypt, unknown for weeks, months, and possibly years.
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(No Military Trials)