The Coalition of Human Rights Organizations condemns the coup regime’s escalating and systematic violations against detainees in prisons, police stations and military detention centers in Egypt.
The Coalition stresses the need to respect the most basic rights of political prisoners and detainees stipulated by all international covenants and treaties and guaranteed by the United Nations’ General Charter, which provided the Basic Principles for the Treatment of Prisoners adopted and made public by the United Nations’ General Assembly Resolution 45/111 of 14 December 1990:
1. Treat all prisoners with the necessary respect for their inherent dignity and value as human beings.
2. Do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status.
The new Egyptian constitution also guarantees respect of the rights of prisoners and in Article 42 states:
"All those arrested, imprisoned, or whose freedom is restricted in any way, shall be treated in a manner that preserves their dignity. They shall not be tortured, intimidated, compelled, or harmed physically or morally. They shall not be detained or imprisoned except in decent humane and healthy places, subject to judicial supervision. Violating any of these is a crime punishable by the law. Any statement issued under the weight of any of the above, or the threat of the same, shall be null and void, and unreliable."
In addition to the above texts, articles and provisions from the Charter of the United Nations and the Egyptian constitution, the Egyptian law regulating prisons (No. 396 of 1956), as well as internal regulations for prisons, issued by Interior Minister (No. 79 of 1961), guaranteed for prisoners and detainees the most basic rights to life. However, there are in Egypt so far 289 deaths in prison and police detention centers as a result of deliberate medical neglect and systematic torture by police officers in prisons and police stations since July 3, 2013 until now.
Egyptian prisons have turned into torture chambers and mass graves for detainees where they are killed slowly by being placed in solitary confinement for months, prevented access to food for several days at a time, allowed no exercise whatsoever, nor visits. Detainees are also tortured by groups of officers working together, beating and electrocuting detainees and raping some of them in order to break them. Detainees are also not allowed to take their medicines, for chronic diseases like high pressure, diabetes or heart problems.
These violations emerged strongly over the past months in the notorious high-security Aqrab, Tora, Wadi Natrun and Borg Al-Arab, Gamasa, Abadeya, (military) Azuli and Battalion 101 prisons.
The Coalition further appeals to Egypt’s Public Prosecutor to intervene immediately to stop these violations against the detainees in Egyptian prisons, and calls for the formation of an inspection committee comprising members of the public prosecution service to determine the nature of the violations and work to improve the situation of detainees in compliance with the constitution and the law.
We call on members of the National Council for Human Rights to carry out their fundamental role in maintaining the most basic rights of detainees and prisoners in a decent living in prisons and police detention centers.
Monday, August 24, 2015
Coalition of Human Rights Organizations
Afro-Arab Center for Freedoms and Human Rights
Shehab Center for Human Rights
Dahaya (Victims) Center for Human Rights