On the victims of medical negligence inside Egyptian prisons

Your Excellencies,

Ms. Elisabeth Tichy-Fisslberger, President of the Human Rights Council.

Ms. Michael Bachelet, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Prof. Nils Melzer- Special Rapporteur on Torture.

Ms. Dunja Mijatović, European Commissioner for Human Rights.

Subject: Increasing number of deaths in Egyptian prisons as a result of deliberate medical negligence.

We are a group of human rights organizations concerned with documenting and monitoring the human rights situation in Egypt;

On 31st August 2020, we observed the death of Sobhi Al-Sakka, in Burj Al-Arab prison in Alexandria.

The following day, 1st September, 2020, we monitored the death of Abdul Rahman Mohamed Zawal, in Tora ‘investigation’ prison, in a solitary cell (punishment cell). On the same day we observed the death of Shaaban Hussein Khaled in Al-Fayoum Public Prison.

On 2nd September, 2020, we observed the death of Ahmed Mahmoud Abdel Nabi in Tora maximum security prison (Scorpion Prison).

On 6th September, 2020, we observed the death of Dr. Amr Abu Khalil, consultant psychiatrist, in Tora maximum security prison (Scorpion Prison).

We have monitored that since the beginning of 2020, there have been a total of 59 deaths in Egyptian prisons as a result of deliberate medical negligence.

These detainees were being held on political cases,” and we have monitored their various illnesses, and the official authorities denied them from the adequate medical care. Moreover, they were held in cells with poor health conditions that have resulted in their deteriorating health leading them to death.

These and other detainees inside Egyptian prisons, held in custody or in pretrial detention, suffer from poor health and medical services and overcrowding inside cells.

Their suffering, given the epidemic of the new Coronavirus -Coved19, could lead to an increase in deaths more and more as the health conditions in Egyptian prisons keep deteriorating.

Prolonged solitary confinement in cells that do not conform to minimum standard rules, and the failure to allow medical care for detainees in dire need for urgent and critical medical attention— are colours of torture and other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment, which are crimes against humanity.

We therefore call on you to intervene to stop the suffering of political prisoners in Egyptian prisons and to save their lives.

Best Regards,

– Justice for Human Rights (JHR) – Istanbul.

– El-Shehab Center for Human Rights (SHR) – London.

– Salam International Organization for the Protection of Human Rights (SPH) – London.