• November 30, 2015
  • 6 minutes read

Rights Organization Documents 50 Cases of Serious Illness in Egypt Prisons

Rights Organization Documents 50 Cases of Serious Illness in Egypt Prisons

Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain (AOHR) said Egyptian prisons constitute a serious threat to the lives of detainees, especially those with serious or life-threatening illnesses, due to authorities failing to apply the law.

AOHR documented 50 cases of inmates who suffer from serious diseases and need urgent intervention in order to provide them with essential health care outside the prisons where they are held, which requires that they are released on health grounds, according to Egyptian law.

In a complaint to AOHR, the family of detained doctor Hassan Abdel-Aati said "Hassan, born February 1, 1973, suffers from heart diseases as a result of blockage of the main blood vessel, and therefore needs special medical care not available inside Banha General Prison – where he is held. He needs regular visits to a physician for follow-up. However, prison administration does not approve any of that. We cannot even make any complaints or report the problem to any oversight body due to obstacles put deliberately by authorities in the complaints process".

Another family, of the detainee Osama Yousef, born June 25, 1997, said "Osama was arrested on April 26, 2015 at his house, without an official warrant. He was still a minor, at the time. But security forces took him to an unknown location and tortured him severely for 18 days, with excruciatingly painful methods including electrocution, which led to him suffering from recurring fits where he loses consciousness . He was transferred to Tora Prison hospital, where he was in a coma that lasted several days. He was then placed on a respirator. Before the completion of his treatment, the prison administration transferred Osama to Wadi Natrun prison. The prison administration refuses to transfer him to the hospital to complete his treatment, which has already caused serious deterioration in his health condition".

Also, the family of the lawyer Adel Abdel-Aziz, born August 1, 1963, said "Medical reports confirm Adel suffers a coronary artery obstruction with weakness of the heart muscle. However, Egyptian authorities still refuse to apply the law and release him on health grounds".

The family of the detainee Rami Mohamed Abdullah, born January 18, 1986, said "Rami suffered paraplegia since October 2015 as a result of severe torture inside a Central Security detention camp in Ismailia, where they electrocuted him all over his body, in addition to severe beatings with wooden sticks, iron bars and batons. Despite the very obvious deterioration of his health, the public prosecutor and the Interior Ministry refuse to release him on health grounds or to let him be seen by a tripartite committee according to the law".

Article 36 of the Egyptian Prisons Act provides that "All inmates who, according to prison doctors, suffer from a life-threatening disease or health condition or are severely disabled, must be reported to the prison’s medical section director to be examined by a team including the coroner, to consider his release. A release decision should be carried out after approval by the Director General of Prisons and the Public Prosecutor. The prison’s administration and competent prosecutors should be notified of such release".

AOHR says Egyptian authorities are determined to trample the rights of detainees, especially those who have been detained for anti-coup reasons. Indeed, prisons have been turned into dark dungeons of torture and slow death.

AOHR further says that thousands of Egyptian detainees are in danger of dying due to unacceptable inhumane conditions of detention, especially people with illnesses for whom detention constitutes a serious threat to life.

AOHR calls on the UN Secretary-General to intervene urgently and put pressure on the Egyptian authorities in order to provide medical care for those who suffer from serious diseases, and release them on medical grounds, as provided by law.

Arab Organization for Human Rights in Britain