The Ministry of Interior opened the new 15th of May Prison on Thursday, to reduce overcrowding inside security directorates and police stations.
Interior Minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar said during his visit to the new prison: “There should be a convenient place for defendants until they are proven guilty or not.”
“There should be more development to the prison’s facilities to become an alternative for the police stations’ detention rooms,” he added.
At least 16,000 persons were arrested, charged or indicted between August 2013 and 2014, according to official estimates. Activist group WikiThawra estimated detainee numbers have reached over 40,000 since the ouster of Muslim Brotherhood regime in July 2013.
With only 42 prisons across Egypt, many of those arrested have been detained for months, and sometimes over a year, inside crowded detention rooms inside police stations and security directorates.
The Forensic Medicine Authority has documented at least 52 cases of detainees who died inside those detention facilities, as of July 2014.
Based on several inspections the authority has paid to detention facilities, Hisham Abdel Hamid, then-director of the authority, told Daily News Egypt: “The large number of detainees makes it hard for many of them to survive.”
MA, a former detainee, earlier said that during the first 45 days of detention in the Central Security Forces (CSF) camps on the 10.5km of the Cairo-Alexandria road, he was locked up in an individual cell with 10 other detainees, where they shared three rags and shifted between people to sleep and people to stand.