Rights delegations to check on prisoners’ conditions amid heat wave
Prison - YOUM7 (Archive)

CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior will dispatch a human rights delegation as well as a medical team to prisons and police stations Monday in light of an extreme heat wave that has killed dozens in Egypt over the past week, Youm7 reported.

Human rights committees recommended allowing juices and refreshments to inmates, as well as medically examining them to reassure their health status, a security source at the ministry said.

Over the past week, at least 95 died of sunstroke as the temperature rose to 42 degrees Celcius in the shade. More than 1,000 people were reportedly hospitalized from heat exhaustion, prompting the Ministry of Health to advice people against exposure to direct sunlight as well as to avoid overcrowded, poorly-ventilated places.

The Assistant Interior Minister Abu Bakr Abdel Karim previously said that prisons will open cell doors as long as possible on hot days.

Overcrowding at prisons and police stations has been a long-negotiated issue by human rights organizations, especially after deaths were reported among prisoners due to suffocation.

A series of surprise visits paid in April 2015 to detention units at police stations in different governorates showed rampant overcrowding problems, where hundreds of detainees had been locked on one room, in violation to the law.

In August 2014, the Cairo Security Directorate announced it started installing air conditioners and water coolers inside detention rooms after a number of suspects died of suffocation.

Additional reporting by Mahmoud Abdel Rady

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