CAIRO: The wife of jailed activist Ahmed Doma complained about “poor conditions” at the Cairo Prison in which her husband is detained, saying “everything is bad in [Cairo Prison,]” on her Facebook page Sunday.
Activist Nourhan Hefzy addressed the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR,) demanding the council to pay a visit to the Cairo prison and write a detailed report on it.
The prison, according to Hefzy’s post, bans basic things to be delivered to prisoners, such as food, letters, personal photographs, books, clothes and newspapers; only state-owned newspapers are permitted.
Hefzy said that the prison’s uniform “rough and smells bad,” adding that she requested to pass clothes that resemble the prison’s blue costume, according to regulations, but her attempt was denied.
She described how she was not allowed to send her husband desserts and a refrigerator, “although there is a big sign behind [wardens] that says food, drinks, sweets and fruits are allowed to fulfill a prisoner’s need for one day.”
“There are neither beds nor mattresses, and we are banned from bringing one at our expenses,” Hefzy added.
“Cairo Prison is supposedly a prison for on-remand detainees, not for those who are sentenced to prison terms; the prison has a specific system in organizing visits,” said Hefzy. She added that visitors might face up to a four-hour “humiliating” inspection before entering to see their relatives.
Doma is detained in solitary confinement, adding she is surprised that her husband works out on his own.
Hefzy added she was not surprised to not see her husband’s name among 165 prisoners who were granted presidential pardon June 17.
Doma has been sentenced to life in prison over 2011 anti-Supreme Council of Armed Forces protests in the outside the Cabinet headquarters. He is already serving a three-year prison term handed down to him and two others for having participated in a November 2013 protest, in violation of the controversial 2013 Protest Law that requires prior police permits.
The Egyptian law does not allow independent observers to visit prisons and inspect their conditions. The NCHR is the only body that can pay such visits only after notifying the authorities.
In March, he NCHR issued a report about its visit to Abu Zaabal Prison after torture allegations surfaced. The report indicated “signs of beating” on four prisoners, adding that the prison violates regulations regarding visits and solitary confinement. Attorney-General Hisham Barakat opened an inquiry into the NCHR report on alleged prison torture.