The Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms (EORF) expressed grave concerns about systematic killings inside prisons and detention centers in Egypt, which led to the deaths of dozens of prisoners, detainees and remand prisoners, the last of whom was Dr. Tarek Ghandour, Dermatology Professor at the Faculty of Medicine, Ain Shams University, who was killed by deliberate medical negligence in Shebin Prison. He had been sentenced by a junta court to 5 years in jail.
Dr. Ghandour suffered poor health-care and deliberate medical neglect by the prison administration. This led to the deterioration of his health over the past three months, while officials failed to take any action whatsoever. Many pleas were made to release him on poor health and medical grounds, but to no avail.
The Shebin Prison administration’s absurd refusal to transfer Dr. Ghandour to the Liver Disease Institute led to the deterioration of his health. The administration did not respond to his repeated calls for help, except when it was too late. Dr. Ghandour died soon after he was admitted to the Institute.
EORF affirmed political prisoners, especially those with illnesses, suffer severe intransigence, complete medical neglect, and inhuman ill-treatment, contrary to all international norms and conventions on human rights, especially the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (articles 5, 7, 9 and 19) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (articles 2, 6, 7, 10 and 14) as well as the Egyptian law of prison organization (articles 14, 15, 16, 20bis, 36 and 83) and the Egyptian Constitution (articles 51, 52, 53, 54, 55 and 56), all of which dictate respect for human rights and not subjecting inmates to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment, and the provision of health care to inmates in prisons in order to preserve their life.
EORF further affirmed that the death of Dr. Tarek Ghandour and other prisoners and detainees in jail as a result of deliberate medical neglect by prison administrations is proof that slow death inside junta prisons is now a policy adopted by coup authorities, not just a matter of individual or isolated cases.
While EORF documented conditions inside Egyptian prisons, it noted that inmates are calling for a "Prison Protest" against the abuses suffered by all detainees and inmates. EORF urges Egyptian authorities to show restraint in dealing with that call.
EORF also urged authorities to open an urgent formal investigation into the death of Dr. Tarek Ghandour and other incidents that proved intransigence by prison administrations against prisoners and detainees, and to refer the culprits to prompt and fair trials.
Moreover, EORF called upon the Doctors’ Association to shoulder its responsibilities towards the predicaments of medical neglect in prisons and detention centers, and to take a decisive stand against violations of their members’ rights, to safeguard those rights and prevent recurrence.