A new social media campaign called “Freedom For Girls” is picking up steam online, in a bid to have 13 girls released from detention in Egypt. The girls have been detained since Tuesday, May 5, 2015 (3 minors were released after 60 days) and the others have been incarcerated for over 222 days.
The students were arrested on 5 May, after anti-government protesters staged a demonstration in the village of Al-Basratah village. Riot police dispersed the protest leaving one police conscript dead.
The girls were part of the demonstration on to demand the release of their parents, as most of them had family members detained. They were kidnapped during the peaceful demonstration and handed over to police where they were tortured, beaten, violently interrogated and put under immense psychological pressure for three days. They have been earmarked to go on trial on the 26th December.
The Revolutionary Coalition for Egyptian Women strongly condemned their detention, saying there is no longer any doubt that the Egyptian coup came to settle accounts with Egyptians, “even those who supported and assisted the military junta to execute its heinous manoeuvre”.
Out of the 10 females arrested, two are married with children and there are two university students and two graduates.
Amongst the detainees are:
– Habiba Shata, 29, who holds a Bachelors’ degree and is a resident of the village of Annanah.
– Fatima Ayyad, 24, is married and is a student in Islamic studies and also resides in Annanah village.
– Maryam Turk, 29, is married and stays in Albesarth village, her father and brother are detained and her husband has been sentenced to life in prison.
– Fatima Turk, 20, is a student at the Faculty of Education and resides in Albesarth as well. Her father and siblings, along with her fiancé, are detained.
– Khulud Filahadji, 24, is a student at Damietta University of Applied Arts. Sarah Ramadan, 21, is a student at the Faculty of Specific Education at Damietta University.
– Isra Abdo Farhat, 18, a high school student, her father has been detained for more than two years.
– Rauda Khatir, 18, a high school student. Sarah Hamdi, 19, student at the University of Applied Arts at Damietta.
Many people have taken to social media to show their support for these women by using the trend #FreedomForGirls. Also, various Facebook pages have been dedicated to those females and their tragic stories. Even South Africans are lending their support.
‘My name is Yaseen Hassim. I am from Cape Town, South Africa, and I support the hashtag “Freedom for Girls” he wrote on the page ‘Freedom for Girls’ on Facebook.
“Fear God traitors! Don’t cry sisters, God’s victory is coming. #Freedom_for_Girls,” tweeted @omomr94
“I support these girls that have been unjustly arrested, tortured and denied medical attention. #Freedom_for_Girls” tweeted @peryahmed28
“More than seven months of detention in prison of port with the wing #FreedomForGirls” tweeted @salma_4444. VOC (Amina Waggie)