The Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) demanded Tuesday that the Minister of Interior clearly define the term “security reasons”, frequently cited by security forces to postpone trial sessions.
The Minister of Interior should also mention the different reasons for not allowing defendants out on bail, the association added. AFTE also said that citing “security reasons” is similar to the laws of preventive custody, which allow the prosecution investigators to keep the defendants under detention pending investigations.
This, the association said, can hinder the chances of a fair trial, if the defendant is tried while being held in detention.
The status of detainees in Egyptian prisoners has been criticised by both local and international human rights organisations.
The El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence documented an apparent spike in torture and abuse across Egyptian prisons in 2014, recording at least 100 deaths in custody.
Human Rights Watch (HRW) further released a report in January, strongly criticising the Egyptian authorities for failing to improve detention conditions or to independently investigate reported detainees’ deaths as a result of physical torture inside prisons.
Major General Abdelfattah Othman, the Deputy Interior Minister’s Assistant for Public Relations, dismissed complaints by rights groups in July 2014, saying that today prisons in Egypt have become “more like hotels”.