Egypt Watch

Mohamed Hassan: A second detainee dies in Wadi El-Natron Prison within a month

Human rights organizations revealed the death of a detainee inside his prison cell in Wadi El-Natrun 430 Prison as a result of medical negligence. The detainee had suffered for a long time and underwent urgent surgery as a result of gangrene in his left foot. The Egyptian Network for Human Rights, the Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights, and the We Record platform announced the death of the detainee Salem Mohamed Hassan, 51, from Sharkia Governorate. The security forces had arrested Hassan in 2014, and he was sentenced to 10 years in prison, and the appeal submitted to reconsider the sentence was rejected. Prison authorities transferred him to a hospital two weeks ago, after his health deteriorated. His family learned of his illness on December 12, only to receive the news of his death a few days later.

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights confirmed that his family had previously appealed to the Egyptian authorities to quickly treat him from the successive health crises he has been exposed to over the years since his arrest. According to the family, the detainee was suffering from heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. In addition, he underwent open-heart surgery and the replacement of arteries before his arrest. He was severely ill months after his arrest, after which he underwent cardiac catheterization surgery and the installation of two stents.

Due to the deplorable conditions of detention, poor health care, and the failure to send the detainee to specialized doctors, and the intransigence of the prison administration in introducing the appropriate medication, the injury worsened and the pain increased. His health deteriorated, and he breathed his last after a series of suffering that did not stop since his arrest, the network said.

Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights held the Ministry of Interior responsible for the death, calling for an investigation into its circumstances, in addition to the release of all detainees. This comes less than 24 hours after the death of the detainee Abdullah Al-Qaoud, from Menoufia Governorate, inside his cell, in Wadi El-Natrun Prison, as well. Al-Qaoud was sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Hassan is the fifth death case this month. He is also the 49th case in which a detainee or prisoner dies inside a prison, detention centre or police station, due to deliberate medical negligence, infection with the Coronavirus, torture, or other unknown reasons, during 2021. The first half of the year witnessed the death of 23 cases.

In 2020, 79 cases of medical negligence were recorded in various prisons and detention centres in Egypt, according to the Egyptian Network for Human Rights. During the past seven years, about 774 detainees died in various detention facilities, including 73 in 2013, 166 in 2014, 185 in 2015, 121 in 2016, 80 in 2017, 36 in 2018, and 40 in 2019.