Egypt Watch

More women join hunger strike in al-Qanater prison

January 1, 2020

A group of female detainees including Egyptian human rights lawyer Mahienour el-Massry, Al-Istiklal (Independence) party leader Najla al- Qaliouby and lawyer Sahar Ali have started a partial hunger strike demanding their release and an improvement to their detention conditions. They have demanded a visit by a human rights delegation to the prison and that a medical committee headed by Mona Mina, the well-known member of the Council of the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, visit them.
The Egyptian Front for Human Rights recently issued a report on violations against women detained in al-Qanater Prison. A number of the inmates are deprived of medical care, as in the case of Aisha al-Shater, and Maryam Salem, who died because of medical negligence. The report, which relied on the testimony of a dozen imprisoned women, said that the Ministry of Interior and al-Qanater Prison’s administration, do not provide the minimum level of rights for women. The Egyptian Front demanded the release of women held in custody pending investigations, and that radical changes are made to Egyptian legislation, whether in the law governing prisons or to internal prison regulations in accordance with international standards dealing with the rights of women detained.
Last July, 130 detainees went on hunger strike in the heavily guarded Scorpion Prison, according to Amnesty International, and demanded that Egypt immediately put an end to the cruel and inhuman conditions of their detention.