Jalal Al-Behairi

Arrest Date: March 3, 2018.
Legal Status: Pretrial detention pending investigations.

Job: Poet and novelist.

Lawsuit Number: 2000/2021 Exclusive State Security.

Accusations: Joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its goals and publishing and broadcasting false news and information that would harm public security.

Health status: On full hunger strike, abstaining from food and water, since 5 September 2023. He also attempted suicide inside his cell during the strike.

On March 3, 2018, the Cairo Airport’s security forces arrested the Egyptian poet, Jalal Al-Behairi, after he arrived from abroad. He was brought before the State Security Prosecution for investigations in lawsuit No. 480/2018 Supreme State Security, AKA: Balha Song Case. Al-Behairi faced charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and insulting the President of the Republic. The prosecution ordered his detention for 15 days, pending investigation. Then, on April 17, 2019, he was released under precautionary measures, and, eventually,  the State Security Prosecution lifted these measures on February 24, 2020.

On the other hand, the Military Prosecution initiated another investigation with Al-Behairi, on the next day of the arrest, because of writing a collection of poetry entitled “The Earth’s Best Women”, which included Balah Song. The prosecution ordered his detention on charges of spreading false news and rumors on the Egyptian Armed Forces and insulting the Egyptian Army via publishing a book includes insults to the Egyptian Army, in lawsuit No. 4/2018 Administrative Misdemeanor Military Prosecutor.

On July 31, 2018, the Military Court sentenced him to 3 years imprisonment and a fine of 10000 EGP. Then, the Court of Cassation repealed the fine while maintaining the sentence in prison.

On July 31, 2021, Elbehery ended his imprisonment in the sentence issued against him in Lawsuit No. 4 of 2018, Administrative Misdemeanor Military Prosecutor.

The Ministry of Interior didn’t release him, as he kept in detention since he arrived at Kafr Shukr Police Station, from August 5, 2021, to 16 of the same month. He was transferred to the National Security headquarters in Benha until he appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution in the Fifth Settlement on September 5, 2021, charged in Lawsuit No. 2000 of 2021.

The Supreme State Security Prosecution charged Elbehery with accusations of joining a terrorist group with knowledge of its purposes and spreading and broadcasting false news and statements that would harm public security before sentencing his detention for 15 days, pending investigations.

On 5 March 2023, Al-Beheiry decided to go on a partial hunger strike and later decided to go on a full hunger and drink strike, in objection to his continued detention for five years. He decided to end his strike on 5 June 2023.

AFTE’s lawyer submitted a complaint in March 2023 demanding Al-Beheiry’s quick transfer to the prison’s hospital to receive healthcare, after he went on a complete hunger strike for three months, during which he refrained from taking antidepressants and his heart medication. However, the authorities ignored the complaint, and the Criminal Court continued to renew his detention, despite his full hunger strike at the time, which put his life at risk. 

On 5 September 2023, Al-Beheiry went again on a full hunger strike after exceeding the maximum two-year period set by law in pretrial detention. We don’t know whether he continued his hunger strike or stopped it, as his family was not able to visit him.

AFTE’s lawyer submitted complaint No. 50598 of 2023 to the Public Prosecution asking it to launch an investigation into Al-Beheiry’s second hunger strike, and demanding his release pursuant to Article 143 of the Criminal Procedures Law.

To read the methodology, click here.

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