Egypt Watch

Political prisoner Ashraf Abdel Rahim passes away in prison after 8 years

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights and We Record platform announced the death of political detainee Ashraf Abdel Rahim in Nozha Police Station in Tora Prison Complex. Ashraf, 65, was the ex-general manager of the Upper Egypt Mills Company in Qena. He was arrested during the dispersal of Rabaa sit-in on 14 August 2013 and sentenced to 15 years in prison.

The organisations asserted that over the past eight years, Abdel Rahim was subjected to inhumane detention conditions that violate all international standards and prison regulations. He suffered from overcrowding and recurrent violations in the custody of Nozha Police Station, where he spent his early detention, before being transferred into Tora. Despite the far distance between Tora Prison in Cairo and their residency in Qena, South of Egypt, Ashraf’s family kept visiting him regularly.

The Egyptian Network pointed out that the coercive measures used by the security authorities in the prisons was behind the deterioration of Ashraf’s health, as he was suffering from diabetes, hypertension, and cardiac diseases. The prison administration recurrently refused either to allow him treatment outside the prison or to provide him an alternative place of detention. The network asserted that over the past few years it has recurrently documented hundreds of deaths in prisons due to awful detention conditions.

Abdel Rahim is the second political detainee to die in 2022 after Anwar Moussa al-Gazzar, 51, who was Palestinian, died in al-Arish Police Station, North of Sinai, after he was arrested in August 2021. He was suffering diabetic comas whilst detained which eventually led to his death. In 2021 60 detainees died in prisons and other detention centres in Egypt.