Egypt | Detention Watch “Violations in Egyptian Places of Detention” Bimonthly report July-August 2019
Following CFJ’s previous periodic reports on human rights violations against individuals who are under the custody of law enforcement officers and security agencies in the Egyptian places of detention, this report proceeds to provide an analytical overview of the human rights situation in Egypt during July and August 2019; while holding the authorities accountable for their obligations, as mandated by law (Egyptian Constitution, Egyptian Criminal Law, as well as International Human Rights Treaties that Egypt has signed).
The end objective of our periodic reports is to:
- Inform national and international stakeholders of the ongoing conditions inside Egyptian places of detention;
- Engage, or demand the engagement of authorities, into a dialogue that can serve in coherent and consistent strategies and legislations that end these violations; and
- Raise awareness of the ongoing violations of human rights inside places of detention.
Thereof, key findings that Detention Watch has reached- during the period covered by this report- can be summarized as follows:
- CFJ team monitored 228 cases of enforced disappearances, including 14 cases who were reported to have been forcibly disappeared from their places of detention.
- 690 individuals have been arbitrarily detained, including 10 cases of renewed arrest from inside the places of detention.
- Our team monitored 61 cases of extra-judicial killings, including 38 cases that CFJ considered as equivocal killings, two incidents of ‘firing live ammunitions at civilians leading to their death’, and 21 deaths inside places of detention. When sorted by the place of occurrence, we found that 8 deaths occurred in 4 prisons, 11 deaths in police stations, one death and one suicide that took place in a courtroom. As for the causes of such deaths, 15 deaths have resulted from ‘denial of medical care’, suicide has claimed 4 lives, and torture has led to two deaths.
- Our team noticed that ‘poor detention conditions’ is the most prevalent violation during the reporting period (1,166 monitored cases).
- 230 ‘denial of medical care’ cases have occurred in 12 places of detention during the reporting period. Hunger strikes (in protest of violations) have accounted to 205 cases in July and 63 in August.
- Among all monitored places of detention, ‘Tora Prisons Complex’ heads the list of monitored human rights violations (mostly, complaints of poor detention conditions), with a total of 820 violations during the report duration.
- 10 torture incidents of individual detainees and 4 incidents of collective torturing have occurred in different places of detention, all of which undermine the rights of 277 detainees.
- 56 detainees were deported to prisons located far away from their places of residence, in what CFJ calls alienation, being one of the violations unique to the situation of Egyptian places of detention.
- We monitored 203 (from a total of 205) hunger strikes monitored in ‘Tora Prisons Complex’ during July 2019.
CFJ monitored the situation of groups of a specific status:
- One political leader was forcibly disappeared in July 2019.
- Two human rights lawyers were forcibly disappeared (one of them was brought before the competent authority in a later time), another two were arbitrarily detained, and we monitored violations against a human rights lawyer inside his place of detention in August 2019.
- University students were subjected to a variety of violations. 4 were arbitrarily detained, 8 were forcibly disappeared (including one female student), and numerous violations have targeted 5 students inside their places of detention. In July, one student suffered from renewed arrest, one has entered a hunger strike, and by the time we finalized the data collection for this report, only one of the forcibly disappeared students had appeared before the competent authority.
- In July, a minor was detained and handed over to his parent at a later time. In August, we monitored the enforced disappearance of a number of minors and, until we completed the data collection for this report, we have not learned their whereabouts.
- Our team has monitored different violations against 22 women. These include the arbitrary detention of two and the enforced disappearance of 10, only 7 of whom have appeared later before competent authorities. Also, a woman was the victim of wrongful death by live ammunition near the Matafei’ police ambush in Arish, northern Sinai. Another woman was injured by live ammunition and 6 have been subjected to violations inside their places of detention, while two have initiated a hunger strike.