الجمعة، مارس 09، 2012

Characters I met in Prison : Yemeni Adel

Translated by:
 Aliaa Elmahdy
Reem Osama Abdelrazek
The attached photo is for a person I never saw before !!
It may seem strange and amusing at the same time when I intend to write about someone I didn’t see or recognize his face features before, but it will be hurtful and painful when I sail in the depth of details.
I actually didn’t see this man’s face before this day, and I didn’t recognize his face features,  Although I spent a whole sixty five days next to him.
The photos belong to “Adel Gaber Abdallah Qu'aiti”, senior Yemeni prisoner in Egyptian prisons, who I don’t know specifically if he was released or not, since he was sentenced to a life sentence after he was caught in 1991 in possession of two hundred and fifty grams of heroin drug, he told me it was in his possession for personal use !!
I met Adel for the first time in the evening in Tuesday 4th of March, 2007. I was transferred this day from Hadra prison to Borg Al Arab prison, and after searching my luggage one of the investigation officers showed me to Mamdouh Ibrahim  Chief of detectives of the prison, who ordered to put me (Magdy) at that time I didn’t know who was Magdy who he meant , then I know he meant that I be put in the same place with "’Magdy Anwar Tawfiq”,  charged with spying for Isreal and fasifying official documents stayed. He was released a year ago.
One of the dectectives took me to a small building consisting of one floor, and there another detective re-inspected me, then took me to a place reached by a ladder  leading  to another floor beneath earth surface, and then I was surprised to see about ten prisoners wearing red clothes, and I found one of the detectives asking me severly “are you sentenced to death?” I was surprised by the question and asked him to clarify his intent.  he scolded me violently, using obscene insults and repeated his question to me, so I understood and denied it and clarified to him that I’m sentenced to prison. He raised his voice again with obscence insults asking me to retreat to the back !!
After moments, The detective brought a key, an opened a metal gate leading to a very narrow path that has ten cells on its right side, and the path is locked from both sides with metal gates.
While walking  in the path I was skimming the cells, and I found cards sticked on some cells doors with information about the prisoner inside the cell, and in a blink of an eye I caught a glimpse of what was written on the card sticked  cell number (1)’s door:
Name: Adel gaber Abdullah
Charge: Dealing in narcotic substances
Verdict: Life sentence
Start of custody: 1991
End of custody: 2011
I was taken into the final cell carrying the number 10, I put my bags inside and before I had closed the door I was given a plastic bucket which was for the purpose of urination and defecation.

After closing the door I started to make my bed, I tried to detect any features of the cell with no success, for it had been devoid of any light bulbs. I just had four walls and a window looking at the hallway so that the guards might follow you all the time and a big iron door. During this time I heard a prisoners voice saying "O my colleague!" I hesitated before I answered. He quickly introduced himself as Adel from Yemen serving a seventeen year sentence for possession of heroin assuring he that he was not a drug dealer. As I introduced myself I only said I had been given a four year sentence for publishing controversial articles on-line.

We started chatting, trying to overcome time, which seemed to get longer between these deaf dark walls,he told me about the reason they put him in this place, he had been an inmate in a prison vault for foreigners in Qaloubya, and he had told me the situation there is good and comfortable in all aspects compared to other prisons,such as Burj Al Arab, and that he had been deported along with twenty-four other prisoners of various nationalities for possession of mobile phones. Their cells were raided in a late hour of the night,their phones were confiscated and they got deported days later, his fate landed him in Burj Al Arab, accompanied by another prisoner ,a Lebanese national with a life sentence who was released during his stay at Burj Al Arab after spending 20 years in Egyptian prisons.
"Molahazat Al-Makhsous" a name given to the place where our cells had been, every day it received some of the most dangerous prisoners, who they expect disciplinary sanctions within the prison, time in solitary confinement for three days up to two months depending on what he the commander sees. Deprived of all aspects of human life and sometimes left naked and with out blankets in the cold winter, and were deprived of food in an extremely harsh way, as they were only given half a loaf of bread and a piece of cheese and small bottle of water , it was pure coincidence that played a major role in meeting one of these, who had lived near me in Muharram Bek. His name was often mentioned in connection with some of thuggery and criminality, and he was a colleague of my brother in our school Primary Azhar, he was known as "Sameh Kofta" (his real name is Sameh Mohamed Ahmed Musa), I found someone calling me from the neighboring cell asking me where I am from. I told him I am from Alexandria and live area of Muharram Bek, it became clear to me that we are neighbors, we lived in the same street, and the surprise was that he himself was "Sameh Kofta," which I have heard a lot about but never seen before, and the reason for his arrest for possession of narcotics with the intention trade, and later was sentenced to rigorous imprisonment of ten years!
Amr Adel and many others were frequent visitors to the"observation"to spend thedisciplinary sanctions.
Ridiculous and painful situation passed, I still remember the voices of the prisoners who were subjected to torture at the hands of the commander. Captain "Husam al-Din Muhammad Ali Hishlh," the officer, who was not much different from any thug or someone with a criminal record, he was always talking like criminals and trying to imitate them, I recall that after a day of my imprisonment he came in to my cell at the food distribution time.
and looked at me saying "what a familiar looking creature" . I looked at him and replied”I do not know your type"(I have always had a lot of contempt for police officers and avoided dealing or dealt with them in a very limited way even within the prison) he became furious and confiscated my toothbrush saying that its presence is not allowed for I may use it to hurt myself then told me this cell used to belong to Ezzat Hanafi before he got his death sentence it is haunted by demons. I smiled sarcastically before I turned my back to him, then he ordered the guard to close the door.
Once day , adel decided to start a hunger strike as a protest against the bad situation inside the prison , and to make a pressure on the prison administrations to return him back to al qanater prison or send him to a regular prison wards , the administration refused all of his requests , but in the same time they was distinguished with him to end the hunger strike which continued for about one week before he ended it fter he had a promise from the administration with sending him to regular prison wards soon.
In 8th of may 2007, we found a lot of prison soldiers take us out from this place to a regular prison wards , and we knew later that they move us because that they have a visit from a public persecution agents and they don't want them to discover this illegal situation .
I haven't met with adel after this time, they put him in a room which made for a foreign prisoners , and they put me on the ward no.21 which was made for the political prisoners and I spent one month there before the administration decided to move me to another ward according to request from some Muslim Brotherhood leaders who was arrested at this time because of parliamentary elections, and the administration was not dare to refuse any of their requests !.

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