• October 24, 2017
  • 3 minutes read

Natrun Political Prisoners Start Hunger-Strike Protesting Ill-Treatment

Natrun Political Prisoners Start Hunger-Strike Protesting Ill-Treatment

A number of political prisoners in harsh "Wadi Al-Natrun 1" prison started a full hunger-strike in protest of the prison administration’s refusal to respond to their demands, continued brutality, ill-treatment and violation of the law (including the prison code) regulating detainee affairs and rights as guaranteed by law, the Constitution, and international treaties to which Egypt is a signatory.

A relative of one of the Natrun detainees said on condition of anonymity that there were serious violations against detainees such as the inhuman overcrowding of cells, with more than 40 packed in a tiny cell originally meant for about 5 prisoners.

"Many violations are committed as a matter of policy against political prisoners who are ill or suffering from chronic or serious diseases. Prison officers prevent detainees from getting urgently needed medicines. There are more than 60 sick people, including two cancer cases and two inmates who had open-heart operations. This atrocious situation is a serious threat to their lives."

The source further said there are three cases of hepatitis C virus infection, 3 cases of epilepsy, as well as 21 cases of diabetes, and a lot of cases of upper respiratory infection and asthma.

"There are many unethical and repeated practices of prison officials, such as intentional insulting and humiliation of detainees’ families during inspections before any visit. Officers now even sexually harass women and girls during visits.

"Violations by the prison administration and guards include refusal to allow in food and forcing families to pay "royalties" to officers and guards, so they may improve their treatment of the detainees or their families."

Earlier, the Arab Organization for Human Rights condemned the continued abuse of detainees in Egyptian prisons, saying in a statement that they were being treated inhumanely by the authorities inside detention centers.

"Detention centers in Egypt brutally punish detainees with various forms of continuous torture, in addition to preventing or reducing visits to a few minutes each time, with degrading treatment of detainees and their families during the rare visits allowed."