Alarm in respect of deaths in Egyptian prisons as international community turns blind eye

Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK (AOHR UK) revealed that an increasing  number of Egyptians detainees are dying in police custody after being held under life-threatening and completely inhumane conditions.

Continued wide human rights abuses, including arbitrary arrests, forced disappearances and holding political opponents without trial for extended periods of time, has fostered a culture of impunity among security forces. Many detainees have died in custody from torture  and medical neglect in respect of serious ailments in violations even of standard Egyptian  prison regulations.

Three political detainees died on 1st and 2nd August 2015 after a sharp deterioration in their health, and refusal by authorities to allow even minimal treatments.

Ramadan Abdulaziz Badawi (46), died on Sunday 2 August 2015 at the Central Prison of Al-Jabal Al-Gharabi in Sohaj, a year following his arrest. He was taken to Sohaj hospital on Saturday 1 August 2015 after complaining of diarrhea, vomiting, and fever, symptoms that strongly suggested he was suffering from food poisoning. The medical report did not specify the cause of death. His family said that he was well when they visited him on Friday 31 July 2015.

A second detainee, Ahmed Hussein Ghozlan (52),  died on Saturday 1 August 2015 at a local hospital in Damanhour in Behira Province following deterioration in his health. Apparently on the evening of 30 July 2015 he complained of fatigue and a high fever, but prison officials refused a doctor’s visit, leading other prison inmates to respond by trying to reduce his fever using cold cloths made from their own clothes. His family informed AOHR UK that Ghozlan had not been allowed to take his high-blood pressure medicine since his arrested on 12 March 2015.

EzzatHussein Mohammed Hussein Al-Salamouni (59), died on 1 August 2015 at Tora Prison from a bowel obstruction and consequent organ failure in the prison clinic.

It is estimated that more than 262 Egyptians have died in police custody since the 3rd of July 2013 military coup, including 71 since January 2015, resulting from medical neglect, torture, overcrowding and bad ventilation.

Most of those languishing in detention are political opponents arrested on bogus charges without evidence.

AOHR UK warned on 5th August 2015 that more prisoners are likely to die if Egyptian authorities do not take effective measures to change its prison policies. It also urged the UN Secretary General, the EU and the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights to intervene to secure the release of all political detainees, especially those suffering from serious ailments.