With the goal of advertising the ministry’s newly adopted policy towards prisoners, the interior minister’s assistant and head of the Prisons Authority, Hassan El-Sohagy, said that the ministry is currently following a new rehabilitation policy for prisoners. The new policy is garnered towards social, cultural, and sports programmes, in addition to psychological rehabilitation, reported state-run media outlets.
During a Saturday speech organised by the Prisons Authority in El Marg Prison, El-Sohagy clarified that the Interior Ministry is planning to establish new prisons and carry out expansion plans in other prisons to guarantee a decent life for prisoners.
He further noted that the ministry’s strategy is built on respecting the prisoner, and the new policy aims to lessen restrictions imposed on prisoners.
Meanwhile, the interior minister’s public relations assistant Tarek Attia delivered a speech on behalf of minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar, through which he said the ministry has organised several training sessions for officers and other police force members in the Prisons Authority to provide all necessary measures and human rights standards.
Attia said the Interior Ministry is extending its care not only to prisoners, but also to their families and released prisoners for the sake of helping them earn a living and move forward.
According to a recent report issued by the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) in September, there are 504 detention centres in Egypt, and the number of prisoners in Egypt by mid-August 2016 reached around 106,000 prisoners, including 60,000 political prisoners.
Only in 2015, 28 people died in 2015 due to poor living standards and health conditions while in detention, according to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.
The commission and other non-governmental organisations have reported that there were approximately 1,500 cases of enforced disappearance in 2015.
Families of those in detention have submitted complaints and organised protests in front of the Press Syndicate calling for improvements to prison conditions and proper medical treatment for those detained. Families have claimed that their relatives’ health have deteriorated while in detention due to the unclean and inhumane atmosphere.
Since the Rabaa Al-Adaweya sit-in dispersal in August 2013, during and after which many were reported missing and detained without formal charges, the number of enforced disappearances has increased. Families of those detained during the dispersal continue to petition for information regarding the whereabouts of their relatives.
Cases of enforced disappearance have branched out from occurring only during protests and demonstrations, as recent cases have described being arrested from the street, work, public spaces, or home.