Trans activist is free after 120 days in male prison

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A 19-year-old transgender woman who spent four months in solitary confinement in an all-male prison was released on July 15th, responding to the public campaign. Malak Al-Kashef, an Egyptian LGBT+ rights defender, was arrested on accusations of joining a “terrorist” group and using social media with the aim of disrupting public order. She was seized by police in the early hours of March 6 after being lured to her mother’s house in an apparent ‘sting operation’. Following her arrest she was detained for three days in an undisclosed location without access to legal counsel. It was later revealed Al-Kashef was being held in an all-male prison, where The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) say she was subjected to sexual assault and forced to undergo anal examination. Al-Kashef’s case attracted significant attention on social media, with many concerned that her detainment in a male prison would put her at risk of further abuse. Front Line Defenders, a Dublin-based human rights group, also pushed for her release. 15 Egyptian authorities appear to have bowed under pressure from Al-Kashef’s supporters when she was finally released after more than 120 days of solitary confinement. The charges against her are still pending. Al-Kashef has yet to make a comment, but a photo of her smiling after her release was posted on Twitter.

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