Egypt Watch

Five prisoners in Zagazig report torture and maltreatment to the attorney general

Human rights lawyer Khaled Ali announced that he filed a report to the attorney general demanding he investigate the torture and maltreatment of five prisoners by several officers in Zagazig Public Prison.

The prisoners are Khalil Abdel Hamid Khalil, Mohamed Walid Saad, Rashad Gharib, Abdel Nasser Ahmed, and Gharib Hasanein, who are jailed on pretrial detention on case 1056 of 2020 on charges of collaboration with a terrorist group in achieving its goals.

The five prisoners complained to the tribunal in the State Security Court for Emergency during the trial session, last Wednesday, which was their first session after they spent months in prison without trial. They reported that they had been tortured with sticks and beaten as well as suffering verbal insults and being held in cramp, narrow cells. Moreover, they were denied going to the toilet except for once daily.

The prisoners named two officers, Sherif Nakhnoukh and Osama Al-Attar, accusing them of carrying out this torture against them, adding that a previous officer in the prison called Mohsen Al-Qalsh participated in torturing them. The prisoners said that they fear for their lives and for a reprisal when they are sent back to prison because they complained. Nevertheless, the tribunal did not act.

Since 2014, security agencies in Egypt have used systemic torture against prisoners, particularly the political detainees, which resulted in the death of dozens of victims such as Giulio Regeni. Last month, the Danish Institute Against Torture (Dignity) issued a report titled “Torture in Egypt: Systemic and Systematic” in collaboration with Committee for Justice and the Egyptian Delegation for Human Rights. The report showed that torture in Egypt is not isolated and is practiced without accountability under the collusion of the judiciary. “The systematic use of torture in Egypt pushes us to define the direct responsibility of a large number of actors within the Egyptian criminal justice sector,” said Giorgio Caracciolo, MENA Manager for Dignity.