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Egypt: Detainee dies of coronavirus in a maximum-security prison, conditions worsen at another prison in 10th of Ramadan City

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Committee for Justice (CFJ) confirms that the detainee Saeed Ghobashi Muhammad Amir, 58, has died in his cell at the maximum-security Gamasa prison in northern Egypt.

Amir had been suspected of contracting the corona virus (Covid-19) after showing symptoms of infection. The Gamasa Prison Administration has accordingly transferred him out of his cell on 10 June 2020, and contact has been lost with him until the announcement of his death.

CJF has been informed that the prison administration has placed Amir in a room designated for punishing prisoners as a virus isolation room, without providing him with the necessary health care, in a severe violation of his rights as enshrined in international standards of the right to medical care.

Amir had been subjected to numerous violations since his arrest, particularly the violation of his right to medical care, deprivation of liberty, torture, and banishment.

The Egyptian Court of Cassation had ordered his retrial after the Alexandria Criminal Court sentenced him to ten years in prison in a political case.

Meanwhile, the Gamasa Prison Administration refuses to enable its detainees to communicate with their families or their lawyers, in the midst of the coercive measures imposed on prisoners under the pretext of curbing the spread of the coronavirus.

Central Security Forces Camp Prison 

Likewise, the situation of detainees at the Central Security Forces (CSF) camp in the Tenth of Ramadan city in Sharkia governorate keeps deteriorating.

The prison administration has transferred the detainee Ahmed Amin Saad, 40 years old, to Belbeis General Hospital (which is an isolation hospital for Covid-19 patients), after his health deteriorated as a result of contracting the coronavirus.

Another detainee in the same prison,Hamdi Abdelall Rayan, has also contracted the virus in prison until his health deteriorated and he later died at the Tenth of Ramadan Hospital, to which he was transferred after his condition became serious.

With the death of Amir, the fatalities due to the coronavirus among detainees and employees of detention facilities in Egypt has risen to 14 deaths, while the number of those infected and the suspected cases among detainees, police officers and personnel working in detention facilities has increased to 156 cases; 121 of whom are suspected cases, while 35 others are confirmed cases according to the Corona Meter recently launched by CFJ.

Ahmed Mefreh, director of CFJ, said in a statement:

“While the Egyptian regime is urging society to return to normal life, the regime continues to impose a blackout on the conditions of detainees inside prisons and detention centers, with the ongoing ban on visits to detainees for nearly four months, while the epidemic has spread to 36 detention facilities in 11 governorates according to our data.”

CFJ warns once again of the dangerous health conditions inside prisons and detention facilities in Egypt, which have claimed the lives of dozens of detainees who had been deprived of their freedom, and violated the rights of hundreds of others, as stated in our annual report.


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