Amnesty International (Amnesty) has accused the Egyptian authorities of subjecting prisoners of conscience and other detainees held for political reasons to torture and cruel and inhuman detention conditions, and intentionally denying them health care as punishment for their opposition.
This came in a new report by the organization, which shows that the harsh authorities have caused or contributed to deaths in detention, as well as irreparable damage to the health of prisoners.
The publication of the report coincides with the passage of 10 years since the outbreak of the 2011 uprising in Egypt, and it paints a grim picture of the human rights crisis in prisons “which the government of President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi filled with brave men and women who were at the forefront of the struggle for social and political justice.”
The Amnesty report shows that prison authorities have failed to protect prisoners from the Covid-19 virus epidemic, and have consistently discriminated against prisoners from economically poor environments.
“Prison officials show complete disregard for the lives and safety of prisoners crammed into overcrowded Egyptian prisons, and they largely ignore their health needs, as they burden their families with the burden of supplying them with medicines, food and cash to buy essentials such as soap,” says Philip Luther, the organization’s director of research and advocacy for the Middle East and North Africa. They are not satisfied with that, but rather cause additional suffering to these prisoners by preventing them from receiving adequate medical treatment or from taking them to hospitals in an appropriate time. “
“The authorities go further, intentionally denying men and women who were detained without reason other than exercising their human rights, and others detained for political reasons, from health care, adequate food and family visits,” he added.
Amnesty expressed regret that “the Egyptian authorities seek to intimidate and torture human rights defenders, politicians, activists and other opponents, actual or supposed, by depriving them of health care. It is known that such deprivation is considered a form of torture when it causes severe pain and suffering, and when it is deliberate. Path of punishment. “
The report documents the ordeal of detaining 67 people, held in 3 prisons for women and 13 prisons for men in 7 governorates. Ten of them died in custody, and two others died shortly after their release in 2029 and 2020.
The Amnesty report also described former detainees being locked up in overcrowded cells that lack ventilation and are characterized by poor hygiene and sanitation (rather) the guards depriving them of adequate blankets and clothes, adequate food, personal hygiene items, including sanitary pads, and from running out. To fresh air.