• August 29, 2014
  • 3 minutes read

Damanhur Detainees Dramatic Plea Complains of Inhuman Prison Conditions, Treatment

Damanhur Detainees Dramatic Plea Complains of Inhuman Prison Conditions, Treatment

 Detainees in Damanhur prisons (in Beheira Province, 99 miles northwest of Cairo) made a heartfelt plea, complaining of inhumane treatment, by junta security forces, inconsistent with human rights laws.

"In addition to the ludicrous trumped-up charges and the lawsuits fabricated by the ruling military junta authorities after their illegitimate coup d’etat on July 3, last year, prison managers abuse, humilitate and maltreat detainees and their families in Damanhur’s Abadeya Prison and Security Forces Detention Center, especially during supposedly regular visits, guaranteed by the Egyptian prisons regulations."

Relatives of the detainees said: "We can see them only from behind wires. The prisons administration has put up wire barriers between the detainees and their visiting families. It is near-impossible to hear their voices at all. Moreover, the visits are cut very short, not to mention the brutal intransigence by prison managers who ban visitors from bringing in detainees’ necessary medicines and other requirements".

Detainees further complained of overcrowding in prison cells, and of the lack of any ventilation, essential especially in Egypt’s high temperatures. They also mentioned that the numbers of detainees increase every day as a result of the junta forces’ relentless campaigns of arbitrary arrests and detentions of pro-democracy anti-coup citizens. A detainee can get an eventually fatal chest disease – after getting arrested "for expressing an opinion".

In their forceful plea, detainees also complained that "the lack of water and lack of medical care are two of the dangers that threaten our lives, especially those of us here who are ill. In the absence of drinking water, we have to go thirsty for long periods of time, while the lack of medical care inside the prisons has become a serious threat to our health. There are no medical tools or equipment and no doctors to check or follow up the condition of ill detainees.

"Some of those ill detainees need to go to hospital for surgery or follow-up checks, but they are not allowed to leave their cells, even though they obtain all relevant official permits. This clearly is a violation of their rights. Another problem is the way they transport us to court… in vans not equipped to carry humans".