Despite calls and international condemnations Egypt's prisons continue to engage in violations torturing detainees daily. Detainees arrested are subjected to the worse forms of torture before being leveled with charges and without evidence for the alleged crime. Innocent men are forced to confess to crimes they did not commit since torture is brutal and excessive. Since July 3rd, 2013, 340 detainees died in prison as a result including 150 from medical neglect; the rest died from torture, overcrowding and suffocation.
Authorities in Egypt have turned a blind eye to human rights and international conventions are ignored namely the Convention against torture. Furthermore it has disregarded the crimes committed by officials which are highlighted in article 2 of the conventions which asserts:
1. Each State Party shall take effective legislative, administrative, judicial or other measures to prevent acts of torture in any territory under its jurisdiction.
2. No exceptional circumstances whatsoever, whether a state of war or a threat of war, internal political instability or any other public emergency, may be invoked as a justification of torture.
3. An order from a superior officer or a public authority may not be invoked as a justification of torture.
HRM documented several torture cases in Egypt's prisons; 2 took place in Aqrab Prison and the third case was in Alshalal police station in Aswan. All detainees were held for their political views.
1: Aqrab Prison detainee
On August 25th, 2014 police forces arrested one Alaa Mohamed Abdul Naby Mohamed Salmy 39, an owner of a publishing office from the Cairo-Alexandria road while travelling. He was arrested without an arrest warrant or legal support and remained missing from August 25th to September 4th, 2014. During that time he was held at the Cairo state security headquarters and was brutally tortured. He was hung from the ceiling, beaten and electrocuted to confess to fabricated crimes including funding a terrorist cell, belonging to an outlawed group. He confessed as torture was excessive. Two ribs were broken.
Security agents continued interrogation in case number 610 for 2014 and he was later transferred to Aqrab's high security prison. He was denied visits, medication and personal belongings for over 2 months. The administration also prevented him from going to hospital for treatment and medical examination despite needing pellets to be removed from his body.
Harsh treatment escalated against the detainee and his cell mates. Official Mohamed Albanna stormed the cells on December 6th, 2015 and confiscated blankets and personal belongings of the detainees. As a result the detainees began a hunger strike objecting to the treatment. The detainees were hosed down with water and beaten with wooden rods. Four were injured badly and moved to intensive care from the torture.
On June 1st, 2015 police forces arrested one Mossad Alsayed Ali Qutb, 56 a medical supply company owner from his home in Nasr City without legal support. He was enforced into disappearance for one month at the Lazoghly state security headquarters where he was beaten, hung from the ceiling and electrocuted to confess to crimes he did not commit including attempting to overthrow the regime and heading a terrorist group. He was held in Aqrab's high security prison custody in case number 514 for 2015 and denied visiting rights and medication. During torture his pelvis was broken.
Aswan policed forces arrested Agriculture faculty's student Mahmoud Hassan Ahmed Abul Magd 20, on June 16th, 2015 without legal support. He was held at the Alshalal police station where he was tortured. He also was hung from the ceiling by one arm, cuffed and stripped to confess to alleged crimes including belonging to an outlawed group, protesting and bombings which took place after his arrest. He was electrocuted on his genitals and suffered from involuntary urinating as a result from the torture. He was tortured to mention his colleagues' names and did so. He also confessed to the fabricated crimes in case number 3722 for 2015. Despite receiving a release order from prosecution he remains in custody.
For its part HRM calls on the Egyptian authorities to promptly and unconditionally release the detainees held without evidence. It also urges the prison administration to release the student following the prosecutions decision. Furthermore it demands a speedy investigation into the crimes committed and accountability for all responsible for the tortures in prison in which it may be an accomplice.
Lastly in accordance to article 5 and 7 of the Rome Statute it calls on the international community to intervene to form a fact finding committee to investigate the human rights conditions in Egypt.