Egyptian prisoners are suffering ‘life-threatening situation’ in the newly established Badr prison, amid official claims of a new phase of reforming prisons.
Last year, the Egyptian Interior Ministry opened the Badr Correction and Rehabilitation Center on an area of 85 acres in Badr City. The prison includes 3 reform and rehabilitation centers as part of the country’s alleged reforms and new human rights strategy.
Hundreds of prisoners, who were moved to the new prison over the past four months, affirmed that the facility lacks essential equipments, controlled by surveillance cameras along the day hours, and lacks the most basic human needs and medical care.
The new prison is one of several similar facilities that have been set up over the past few years, the largest of which is the Wadi al-Natrun prison which received prisoners from 12 old prisons, including Tora notorious prison.
The most serious human rights violations and abuses being carried out against the prisoners include:
– Strip search
– Solitary confinement under constant surveillance.
– Sleep deprivation and increasing light exposure.
– Many prisoners suffer from mental health problems for not being exposed to sun or light for long periods.
– Air holes which allow the torturer to control air flow.
– Prisoners are denied access to clothes, food, books, papers, toiletries.
Lawyers are also subjected to serious violations while defending their clients in Badr prison. The reported violations include:
– The trials are held inside the prison, which is located on the outskirts of Cairo while no means of transportation accessing it, in very small courtrooms that cannot accommodate all the lawyers.
– The prisoners, whose detention is required to be renewed, are transferred to a designated room without any judicial supervision.
– Remanded political prisoners are tried in virtual courts via video conference legal representation, while preventing their direct contact with their lawyers.
– Prisoners’ families forced to wait up to seven hours to meet with their imprisoned relatives for only 20 minutes.
Thus, we call on Egyptian authorities to provide all prisoners with their rights guaranteed by the international laws, mainly the Fourth Geneva Convention and the International Covenant on Prisoners.