Egypt Watch

Authorities deny collective punishment of Scorpion prisoners

The Egyptian authorities have denied what Human Rights Watch reported about inmates’ collective punishment at Scorpion Prison, south of Cairo, as allegations.

The official Egyptian News Agency quoted an unnamed security source as saying that the Muslim Brotherhood and some affiliated organisations had broadcast allegations of collective punishment in prison. He added that what is being circulated in this regard is completely untrue… and that falsehoods have been published to incite public opinion.

Scorpion Prison is a high-security prison where most of the Muslim Brotherhood members and leaders, and other opponents, are housed, but the authorities repeatedly deny that its prisoners have been subjected to human rights violations.

Last Thursday, Human Rights Watch said that the Egyptian authorities impose collective punishment on Scorpion Prison inmates. The New York-based non-governmental human rights organisation documented, in a report, that prisoners were almost completely deprived of ventilation, electricity, and hot water, in addition to previous decisions banning visits since March 2018 and the denial of exercise since 2019. The organisation stated that inmates in Scorpion Prison, numbering between 700 and 800, are subjected to grave violations that amount to collective punishment.

Cairo usually fends off international human rights criticism by saying that it takes into account the rights and health care of prisoners and that it adheres to the law, constitution, and international covenants.