CAIRO: The Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Liberties declared Egyptian prisons “mass graves for detainees” due to “deliberate medical neglect” of inmates in a Thursday statement.
The observatory cited the Thursday death of a 63 year-old man in a Fayoum prison, two days after he suffered a heart attack; he was given medical assistance allegedly two hours after his cellmates requested it, the observatory said on its Facebook page.
Sayed Ali was arrested six months ago, two days after his son had been arrested without charge, said the observatory, claiming that the father had objected to torture he had witnessed at the police station when visiting his son, which prompted the father’s arrest.
The observatory alleged that about 5,000 detainees suffering from disease are in Egyptian prisons and they are suffering from the slow death due to “the deliberate medical neglect”.
The National Council for Human Rights’ members met with President Adly Mansour Wednesday to address complaints which the council received about violations against inmates and the poor conditions of detainees at prison in addition to discussing the protest law.
Australian Peter Greste, a correspondent for Al Jazeera, who was arrested in late December on charges of “spreading false news,” released a letter published on Al Jazeera that alleged his colleague journalist, who was also detained, had been denied medical treatment for his severely injured shoulder. He and his three colleagues are currently standing trial.
Egyptian news website Mada Masr published in mid-February an English translation of a testimony of Islam Abu Ghazala, who was arrested Oct. 6, 2013 during an anti-government protest, detailing the systematic torture he said endured in Wadi al-Natroun prison.
“As the policemen made us crawl on the floor, they followed us with sticks, belts, and water pipes, lashing our backs to force us to crawl faster,” Ghazala said. In early January he started a hunger strike in protest of his treatment.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information published a statement on Feb. 11, calling for “an immediate, independent investigation into growing claims of the brutal torture and sexual assault of detainees held in prisons and police stations in Egypt after their arrest in demonstrations on January 25th.” Sixteen prominent Egyptian human rights organizations signed the statement.
Assistant Interior Minister for Human Rights Abu Bakr Abdel Kareem denied any human rights violations or incidents of torture on Feb. 10 in an interview with ONTV.
“If there are such violations presented by any person about torture, please send him to the ministry, and we will investigate the case,” he said.