Human Rights Report Documents 35 Incidents Of Mass Torture in 12 Egyptian Prisons
The Egyptian Coordinating Committee of Rights and Freedoms (ECRF)’s latest report revealed that torture in Egypt’s prisons increased in the first half of 2017, compared with the past two years, stressing that torture has become a systematic policy adopted by Egyptian authorities, as they deal with opponents of the coup junta regime, including direct physical torture and deliberate medical neglect.
The report detailed about 90 cases of torture of political prisoners in various detention centers and prisons. The incidents included 35 cases of severe violations in detention centers, 50 cases of medical neglect and 5 cases of torture – which only hints at criminal practices used systematically by the security forces at national security compounds.
The report pointed that incidents of torture monitored by ECRF at detention centers include collective torture of a number of prisoners held in custody or imprisoned, through severe beatings by hand, batons or other means, attacks by police dogs, throwing detainees into ‘discipline cells’ for punishment, placing political prisoners among criminals, putting them in extremely squalid conditions in cells unfit for humans without lighting or ventilation that resemble underground graves, or depriving ill detainees of essential treatment and urgently needed medicines.
The report also noted cases of mass torture by depriving detainees of water, especially when temperatures soar, during the month of fasting "Ramadan", and imposing restrictions on students, forcing them not to sit for their exams.
The report further pointed that among the methods of mass torture adopted by prison authorities are the firing of tear gas into cells to prevent detainees from protesting any violations they suffer. Also, authorities "exile" detainees (transfer them to other prisons away from their homes or provinces, mostly without informing their families).
As for torture tools used in the junta’s detention centers, especially in State Security compounds or its offices in prisons, central security camps and police stations, they include: electric shocks, forcing detainees naked, sodomy using inserting sticks and sharp instruments, and tying detainees spread-eagled (hands and feet tied) and hanging them naked from the ceiling.
ECRF said it documented 35 cases of mass torture, in addition to cases of individual torture. Those took place in 10 prisons: Tura’s high-security Prison 1, Tura’s high-security Prison 2, Tura’s Istiqbal Prison, Abadeya Prison, Zagazig Main Prison, Wadi El-Gadid Prison, Shebin El-Koum Main Prison, Minya New Leman Prison, Wadi El-Natrun Prison, and Assiut Main Prison.