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Unannounced inspection commences in seven prisons

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Abo Za’abal Prison Number Two is the worst in condition

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood's supreme guide , Mohamed Badie waves from inside the defendants cage during the trial of Brotherhood members on February 3, 2014 in the police institute near Cairo's Turah prison. The trial resumes of Mohamed Badie and more than 50 others on charges of inciting violence that left two dead in the Nile Delta city of Qaliub, after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.        (AFP PHOTO / AHMED GAMIL)

Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood’s supreme guide , Mohamed Badie waves from inside the defendants cage during the trial of Brotherhood members on February 3, 2014 in the police institute near Cairo’s Turah prison. The trial resumes of Mohamed Badie and more than 50 others on charges of inciting violence that left two dead in the Nile Delta city of Qaliub, after the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi.
(AFP PHOTO / AHMED GAMIL)

The Prosecutor General’s office issued a statement on Thursday with results involving the unannounced inspection campaign of seven prisons, including; four prisons in Tora, Cairo, two prisons in Abo Za’abal, Qaliubiya, as well as the Wady Al-Natrun Prison in Monofeya.

The statement mentioned that the capacity of the Tora farm prison is 46 prisoners; however, it currently holds 17 prisoners, including prominent figures under the regime of ousted President Mohamed Morsi, including: Saad Al-Katatny, Hesham Qandil, Mahmoud Al-Khodairy, Bassem Ouda, Abu Al-Ela Mady, and Salafi leader Hazem Salah Abu Ismail. The prisoners stated they were not ill-treated and had no complaints regarding the prison’s conditions.

The inspecting committee asserted that the prison has suitable lighting, ventilation and restrooms and included a space for exercise, adding that the condition former Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Badie was stable. The committee recommended that the glass barriers in the inspection rooms be completed “as soon as possible, in order to allow visits to the detainees”.

According to the inspection committee, Wady Al-Natrun Prison holds 2,681 prisoners, six of whom are currently being held in the prison’s hospital; the prison has a capacity, however, to hold 4,500 prisoners. The committee asserted that all prisoners are “detained according to the law.”

In Abo Za’abal Prison Number Two, the committee also attested that all prisoners are “detained according to the law”; however, the number of prisoners detained is over that of the prison’s capacity, where, in some cases, cells have double the amount of prisoners and poor ventilation and restrooms.

The committee added that the prisoners submitted several complaints regarding the food portions, the amount of water available and the lack of exercising spaces; Abo Za’abal Prison number one, however, is in better condition.

The statement added that the prisons inspected are “only the beginning to a larger inspection campaign, which will include prisons nationwide”.

A press conference calling for the release of wrongfully arrested detainees, titled Freedom for the Brave, was held in the Press Syndicate last Sunday. The conference showcased a number of situations regarding arbitrary arrests, illegal detention in police facilities, such as the Central Security Forces Camp in Tora, along with several torture cases in different detention facilities.

Ragia Omran, a member of the National Council of Human Rights, said that security apparatuses are uncooperative with the council. Omran added that the council has documented several testimonials of torture from detainees, including those in Abu Za’abal Prison, where they have attested to being beaten and tasered, along with other violations.

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AbdelHalim H. AbdAllah

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