Egypt Watch

ENHR: Suicide attempts in Scorpion Prison alarming

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Network for Human Rights warned of the remarkable increase in suicide attempts in Scorpion Prison, because of the inhumane, awful detention conditions and the continuous violations against the prisoners, such as prevention of visits and time to exercise, the prevention of food or medication from outside the prison, while the food provided by the prison is scarce. They also lamented the lack of hygiene tools: “This makes Scorpion Prison not a punishment institution but rather a tool for humiliation and slow death.”

In a press statement, the network alluded to the statements of the well-known political detainee, Alaa Abdelfattah, who told his lawyer, Khaled Ali, who met Alaa during a trial session on Monday: “I am in a lousy situation, and I am not able to resume in such a manner.” Alaa added, “I will commit suicide, and tell Laila Soueif to receive my condolences.” Khaled Ali confirmed, on Facebook, that Alaa repeated his words over and over in an anger and sadness. Ali expressed his fear of Alaa’s suicide because of Alaa’s poor morale, and because Alaa does not lie.

ENHR said that Alaa expressed his severe despair at his intensive suffering Scorpion Prison. The network demanded the public prosecution oversee prison conditions closely and stop all forms of physical and mental torture. In addition, ENHR demanded the prosecution look again at long-term pretrial detention and find alternatives that could guarantee the rights of the defendants.

On Monday, the Cairo Criminal Court renewed the detention of human rights lawyer Mohamed Al-Baqer and political blogger Alaa Abdelfattah in case 1356 of 2019, even though both detainees had already finished the maximum pretrial detention period, which is two years, without being sentenced or indicted.