Egypt Continues Crackdown on Young Protestors

Since the ouster of Mohamed Morsi last year, Egypt’s interim government has adopted a policy of harsh crackdowns on supporters of the former president, the assets of the Muslim Brotherhood, journalists, protestors, and others. Children and young people are not exempt from these policies; “around 10 to 30 percent of the people [government forces] detain will be children,” said Maha Maamoun, a children’s rights advocate. “In some ways they’re just easier to catch.”

Tahrir Square, 11 July 2011

Once caught, according to Egypt’s new constitution, children should be held in separate cells from adults—but this is often not the case. “In many cases this is not done,” said Maamoun. “It depends on the place of detention, but we hear many cases of the law not being upheld—minors being held with adults who are accused of crimes, or not being allowed visits from their parents or their lawyers.”

There have also been allegations that some captured children have been tortured. “Many children who get arrested are subject to torture at some point by the police, or by soldiers. The norm is that they are beaten in the police vehicles, or when they first arrive at the detention facility,” said Maamoun. “The situation has been getting worse and worse for children since 2011. It’s not just the state—the whole community is failing children. Until we recognize that children are vulnerable and need to be better protected, we will continue to destroy Egypt’s future,” she added.

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Written by Alex Leedom
Alex LeedomEgypt Continues Crackdown on Young Protestors