Shorouq Amgad: From calling her fiancé’s freedom to demanding hers

15 January, 2019

– “Do not be afraid to be in a relationship with a strong woman, perhaps the day will come when she will be your only army” Those were poet Nizar Qabbani’s words years ago. Little did he know when he wrote those words that there will be women who fulfill his words literally. One of these women is Egyptian journalist Shorouq Amgad, 24 years old.

– Shorouq Amgad was like an army for her fiancé all by herself dedicating her “Facebook” account to call for his freedom. Her fiance is journalist Ahmed Sakhawy, held in Tura maximum security prison, known as “al-Aqrab” (Scorpion Prison), pending case No. 977 of 2017, on charges of joining a terrorist group, and publishing false news and information, like many other journalists, activists and politicians, as these became the charges for anyone for whom there is no charge in Egypt since July 3rd, 2013.

– Shorouq Amgad and two others who were accompanying her, Abdurrahman Atef Badawi and Mohammad Maher, got arrested on April 25th, 2018 from downtown, Cairo.

– Shorouq Amgad spent the worst night of her life inside the National Security headquarters, in her own words published on the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms Facebook page: “Shorouq was arrested as she was walking in downtown, Cairo on 25/4/2018, and she spent – as she puts it – the worst night of her life in the National Security headquarters. As soon as she was arrested, she was taken to the National Security headquarters where she was subjected to terrible violations including physical and verbal abuse, as well as threats of rape, verbal and physical sexual harassment, and she was up all night listening to the screams of people being brutally tortured.”

– The day after she got arrested, Shorouq appeared before the State Security Prosecution which charged her with joining a terrorist group, and publishing and spreading false news in case No. 441 of 2018 Supreme State Security.

– Now, journalist Shorouq Amgad – at the time of writing these words – is languishing in Al Qanater Women Prison, marking the end of the 150-day period authorized for the State Security Prosecution pending imprisonment. She now appears before the Criminal Court every 45 days to consider her detention renewal. Each session her eyes full of hope and faith that she might be released but to no avail.