Egyptian prisons still deteriorating in 2023, says El-Nadeem Center

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On Monday, the El-Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture released its report for the first quarter of 2023, documenting 374 human rights violations in Egyptian prisons. The report documented 11 cases of torture, 59 cases of individual punishment, 57 cases of collective punishment, and 42 cases of medical neglect in various detention facilities in the country.

The rights group said the torture documented was beatings, forcible transfer to a solitary cell, and electric shocks. Among the forms of punishment were the deprivation of food, denial of visits, and the inability of prisoners to communicate with their lawyers.

Human Rights Watch stated on Friday that it was gathering data regarding the treatment of political inmates in Egypt’s infamous Badr Prison. There are indications of serious violations that require investigations, said Amr Magdy, a researcher at the human rights group. Local and international human rights groups have expressed concern about the flagrant human rights violations at Badr Prison, explaining that recent news of repeated suicide attempts by prisoners compounds their problems.

They called on the international community, including Egypt’s influential allies, to demand transparency from the Egyptian government regarding prison conditions in the country. They also called for the International Committee of the Red Cross and independent human rights groups to be allowed to inspect prisons and to open separate investigations into allegations of serious wrongdoing. Since the transfer of prisoners to the newly constructed Badr Prison began in June 2022, they added at least four deaths had been reported, including three cases of medical negligence.

They also documented various forms of torture that prisoners are subjected to, including exposure to bright lights 24 hours a day, deprivation of food, electric shocks, and sexual harassment, in addition to depriving prisoners of visits and denying them the right to communicate with their lawyers. “Despite the Egyptian government’s repeated claims of reform and the promotion of Badr Prison as a model for renewal and modernization, these violations continue unabated, and perpetrators enjoy complete impunity,” they said.