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Proposed amendments to Prisons’ Law ‘disappointing’: EIPR - Daily News Egypt

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Proposed amendments to Prisons’ Law ‘disappointing’: EIPR

Recently proposed changes “more cosmetic than substantive,” rights group says.

The Ministry of Interior’s proposed amendments to prisons’ legislation “are disappointing”, the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights said in a statement Wednesday.

The group added that the amendments were “far from meeting Egyptian constitutional guarantees and the UN minimum standards for the treatment of prisoners.”

The statement called for the need to overhaul “all existing laws, protocols and procedures governing the administration of prisons in Egypt.”

EIPR stated that they found “torture, inhumane treatment and worsening living conditions,” to be recurring themes in recent prisoner testimonies.

The proposed amendments to the current law on Prison’s procedures fail to allow for independent monitoring of detention facilities. They also fail to introduce mechanisms for prisoners to lodge complaints with impartial and independent bodies such as human rights organizations.

They added that testimonies showed “an alarming escalation in the excessive use of force, brutality, beatings, verbal abuse and other forms of cruel and degrading treatment or punishment for prisoners by law enforcement officials.”

Authorities also fail to provide the basic needs of hygiene, nutrition, healthcare, and contact with the outside world to prison inmates.

EIPR sent an official letter to the National Council of Human Rights (NCHR) requesting the proposed changes be published in order to “enable effective consultation.” The request was not heeded.

Since 3 July 2013, Egyptian security forces detained around 41,000 people, according to the online database WikiThawra.

Tens of Egyptian detainees are currently on hunger strike demanding their freedom.

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