World Bulletin/News Desk
Egypt's Interior Ministry, which controls the country's prisons, dismissed reports of verbal and physical assaults on detained female students supporting ousted president Mohamed Morsi in one of its prisons.
"These allegations are not true altogether," the ministry's prisons sector said in a statement on Thursday.
Earlier in the day, a local rights organization called for an investigation into alleged verbal, physical and sexual assaults by inmates held on criminal charges under the eyes of prison guards in the northern Qanater prison.
"Such assaults…by female inmates in the presence of security personnel…go against honor and chivalry and violate international human rights doctrines," the Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms (EORF) said in a statement.
Yet, the ministry's statement said that such allegations only aim to "cause confusion and draw sympathy for a number of female prisoners in particular" – in reference to the pro-female Morsi students.
"The sector is credited by government and non-government legal organizations for applying international human rights standards in dealing with all prisoners with no exceptions," it added.
A student group opposed to last year's ouster of Morsi said earlier in June that at least 1812 university students have been arrested since Morsi's ouster last July, including 33 female students, amid an ongoing crackdown on the former president's supporters.
Earlier in the day, lawyer Ahmed Nasr said his detained sister Asmaa and her detained colleagues have been "brutally beaten" by female criminal inmates in the Qanater prison.
"They were beaten for refusing an insult by one of the criminal inmates," Nasr told Anadolu Agency.
Asmaa Abdel-Fatah also cited a similar attack on her sister Aisha in the Qanater prison.
"Criminal inmates insulted Aisha and 15 of her colleagues and when they protested the insult they were beaten and taken to another prison as punishment," Abdel-Fatah told AA.
The pro-Morsi Women Against the Coup group accused prison authorities of ordering criminal inmates to attack the detained students.
"The Qanater prison warden is responsible for inciting criminal inmates to attack the detained girls," the group said in a statement on Thursday.
Egypt's Interior Ministry routinely denies reports about human rights violations inside prisons and asserts that all those who have been detained are held for criminal, not political, reasons.
Since the beginning of the academic year last September, many Egyptian universities have seen almost daily protests by pro-Morsi students, staged to denounce last summer's ouster of the democratically-elected president.
Former army chief Abdel-Fatah al-Sisi, who led the army last July to remove Morsi, was inaugurated as Egypt's president earlier this week after he won last month's presidential election.
Last Mod: 12 Haziran 2014, 22:39