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'I faced electric shocks in silence' reveals imprisoned Egyptian Open in fullscreen

Imogen Lambert

'I faced electric shocks in silence' reveals imprisoned Egyptian

Date of publication: 20 December, 2015

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Blog: Following the release of Egyptian student Israa al-Taweel, friends reminisce about other Egyptian political detainees, speaking of their torture behind bars.
As many celebrate the release of Egyptian student and photographer, Israa el-Taweel, others continue to fear for the lives of their loved ones still detained in Egypt, where numbers have now reached over 40,000.

One of these detainees includes 22-year-old Sohip Saad, arrested at the same time as Israa and now been held for ten months.

In July, a ministry of defence video was circulated by Egyptian TV channels, showing Sohip Saad "confessing".

The video was shown with the ministry statement "the biggest terrorist cell to threaten national security [has been caught]".

Corroborating testimonies from friends visiting the prison suggest Sohip had been horrendously tortured until he agreed to the public "confession".

The torture apparently involved being hung by his wrists for three days, while being given electric shocks.

Shortly before his latest arrest, Sohip had been released from a previous imprisonment, after being detained for eight months in a maximum security prison.

He had been on hunger strike for a portion of his time in detention, and was released after he was retried and his sentence nullified. He completed university exams from behind bars.

Many of Sohip’s friends have fond memories of him, and are still hoping for his release.

Sohip wresting with demons in happier times
"He loved hanging out in Hussein mosque…we sat in a circle in old the hakim mosque and he just started randomly reading azkar…his recitation voice was so beautiful," said Sohip’s close friend Walaa Quisay.

After Sohip disappeared for a while, their friends heard the call to prayer in the mosque.

"The voice sounded so familiar… we walked to the front of the mosque and we see Sohip randomly making the azhan and just led people in prayer," she said.

Sohip was originally arrested being accused of being part of the "Marriot cell", where 30 people, many of them al-Jazeera journalists, were accused of "defaming Egypt". 

Although many of the originally accused have now been acquitted, Sohip remains in the notorious Aqrab prison.

While in prison, Sohip has written extensively about his mistreatment, injustice and faith.

"I feel that people should read this and remember him," said Walaa.

Sohip leading prayers in al-Hussein mosque 
Here is an extract of some of his writings:

We, once, stood tall as mountains amongst mountains and perhaps too…we floated as water does on waves of water.

I have been blinded folded in this place for three whole days. I asked him to let me rest my back by the wall; but only heard murmurs.

We, once, stood tall as mountains amongst mountains.

I responded, ‘and we floated as water does on waves of water.’ The night before, he had pushed me inside their car. “Excuse me," I asked. "Where am I going?”

My only wish was to escape this hell.

From my mind rose hastened prayers to the sky. It became overwhelmed with the image of my own body discarded in a desert.

The sand quenching its thirst with my blood. That is merely the body. "What about the soul? Any soul violated for the sake of God should not fear tribulations.

What about a soul which does not know for what purpose it is being violated?! Son, it responded, you are a goner!

I thought the nerves in my hands were going to die. Then maybe the pain of being tied and hung from my wrists would die too. My screaming seemed to race the sound of the buzzing of the electricity on my naked body.

The pain of hanging was only overwhelmed by the loud buzzing of the electric shocks to the degree that it sounded as though I faced the electric shocks in silence… 

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