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Questions and doubts about the killing of prisoners and officers in an Egyptian prison

Several questions raised by the killing of officers and 4 prisoners sentenced to death inside Tora prison, south of Cairo, yesterday, Wednesday, amid doubts and questions from human rights defenders and activists about the official version announced by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.

The suspicion about the incident and the exclusion of it being merely an escape accident added to the fact that the Egyptian Interior Minister and army commanders made a rare visit to the prison where the accident occurred, amid tight security reinforcements.

Media sources said that the Egyptian Ministry of Interior decided to open extensive investigations into the accident, and to form an investigation team from the Inspection, Control and National Security sectors to conduct the investigation into the incident and listen to the statements of the police forces in the prison and some inmates and examine the surveillance cameras. .

Yesterday, Wednesday, the Egyptian security authorities announced the killing of 4 prisoners sentenced to death after trying to escape from Tora prison in Cairo, killing two officers and a recruiter while confronting them, and injuring others, and a fourth policeman died later of his injury.

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior said in its version of the incident that “4 of those sentenced to death and those in death row in Tora prison tried to escape from inside the prison, and the security force confronted them, which resulted in the death of two officers and one policeman, and the death of the four convicts,” without giving further details about Incident.

The prisoners are “Mr. Atta Muhammad, Ammar Al-Shahat Muhammad Al-Sayyid, Hassan Zakaria, Motamed Morsi, and Madih Ramadan Hassan Ala El-Din.”

Social media commentators have expressed doubts about the official narrative that was initially reported by the media close to the authority, given the tight security with which the Tora prison area, south of Cairo, is known.

Former prisoners ruled out the Ministry of Interior’s account, especially since weapons are forbidden inside the prison wards, and some of them assumed that the accident occurred during an inspection visit from outside, especially with the possibility of altercations and clashes due to ill-treatment, while some spoke of the possibility of prisoners kidnapping officers before the clashes took place.

Some of the tweeters accused the Egyptian authorities of masterminding the incident to spread more intimidation and fear, by facing the ongoing demonstrations since September 20, which activists escalated towards calling for major demonstrations on Friday, but others rejected this scenario as its owners are dominated by the conspiracy theory.

In the same context, three international human rights organizations expressed their reservations regarding the Egyptian Ministry of Interior’s version of what happened in Tora prison, and these organizations are the Istanbul-based Adalah for Human Rights, the London-based Shehab Center for Human Rights, in addition to the London-based Salam International Organization for the Protection of Human Rights.

In a joint statement, the organizations attributed their reservation to the fact that the incident is unprecedented inside the prisons, especially Tora prison, which is known for the impossibility of escaping incidents due to the great security precautions there.

The three organizations said that without explaining the circumstances of the incident in a neutral and transparent manner, hundreds and thousands of detainees may be subjected to harassment under the pretext of revenge for the killings that occurred.

These organizations held the Public Prosecution Office responsible for investigating the incident impartially and informing the public of the results of the investigations.

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