Despite closure order, El-Nadeem reported interior ministry violations in February 2016

Daily News Egypt
5 Min Read
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El Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Violence of Victims released a report Monday highlighting violations by the Ministry of Interior in February 2016 against the prisoners and normal citizens, as well as specialised reports detailing conditions in Al-Aqrab prison and the death of the Italian student Guilio Regeni.

The centre continued its work documenting violations via social media despite the order from the Ministry of Health to close the centre issued in mid February.

The report stated 111 people were killed in February alone, including 65 extra-judicial killings, 35 air bombings, eight disputes with low-ranking police officers, one torture case, and one death from being thrown off a building.

Eight people died whilst in detention due to torture, medical negligence, gas poisoning, and others reasons. Torture and police brutality was the most prominent violation in February as 88 cases of torture and 42 cases of police brutality occurred last month, according to the report.

In response to this, some social media users likened February 2016 to December 2010 since both months showed an increase in cases of police brutality; one of the main reasons for inciting the 25 January Revolution in 2011.

The report also observed 155 cases of enforced disappearances, 44 cases of reappeared persons after an enforced disappearance, and 44 cases of medical negligence in detention including nine patients diagnosed with cancer.

The centre also highlighted statements made by the Ministry of Interior throughout the month and the other local and international NGOs observations and statements on the general human rights violations in Egypt this February.

As for the file on conditions in Al-Aqrab prison, the report highlighted all inhumane abuses that occurred in February against prisoners and their families. Families of Al-Aqrab prison detainees face difficulties visiting their relatives since they are often subject to assault or attacked by police when they attempt to see their children or send them food and clothes.

The report referred to several complaints about prison published in February by detainees’ families stating that the prisoners are kept in unclean areas without sufficient food or water and no blankets and warm clothes are offered.

Families of Al-Aqrab’s prisoner filed several complaints in February to the general prosecutor and the Ministry of Interior calling on them to improve the poor conditions. Families also protested in front of the Press Syndicate demanding solutions.

Both prisoners and families are struggling with Al-Aqrab administration: families want to visit their relatives and grant them a decent life as possible inside the prison, while prisoners are dying inside the prison daily due to the tough conditions and harsh treatment.

Regarding Giulio Regeni, the report discussed the issue from the outset, presenting all facts and statements related and published by both Egyptian and Italian media. It further asserted that Italy was more active taking action and investigating the Italian student’s death.

The centre documented media statements and news to support their reports and referenced all reported information and the names of detainees and their situation.

Last week, the ministry said El Nadeem Centre had made two violations: by changing its activity without asking the ministry to modify its license and by changing its name from a clinic to a centre, both of which are considered illegal violations according Article 13 from law no. 153 issued in 2004.

The centre however is licensed by the Doctors Syndicate and the Ministry of Health as a psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation clinic, according to El Nadeem staff.

A conference took place at the Press Syndicate on 21 February during which local and international NGOs, lawyers, activists, journalists, families of detainees who had received support at the centre, and representatives from human rights organisations, foreign correspondents, EU delegation to Egypt, diplomats from British, French, the US, and Swiss embassies expressed their solidarity and support for the centre.

El Nadeem was founded in 1993 and for 22 years it has worked to support victims of torture and violence suffering psychological and physical trauma and to document cases of violence and the methods of torture to which Egyptians and non-Egyptians have been subjected.

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