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Egypt: Article 55 Coalition documents detention violations in March 2024

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The Article 55 coalition has released its monthly report for March 2024, in which it documented the latest updates on the human rights, political, and legal situation in Egypt, focusing on the major violations suffered by detainees within the detention centers and prisons.


Economic, legal, and judicial updates:


The report noted that March began with harsh economic measures that pushed the official exchange rate of the dollar to exceed 50 Egyptian pounds. This led to a demonstration by citizens in the Dekheila area of Alexandria, which security forces dispersed, arresting several protesters who were then taken to the National Security headquarters in the Abis area of Alexandria.


Internationally, the devastating war waged by the Israeli army on the Gaza Strip continued, with ongoing Israeli discussions about plans to invade the Palestinian city of Rafah, located on the Egyptian border. Egyptian statements consistently expressed strong opposition to the invasion of Rafah and the ongoing hostilities in Gaza.


On the legal front, press sources released the latest updates on the draft amendment to some provisions of the Criminal Procedures law proposed by the Egyptian government. This occurred during a meeting of the subcommittee responsible for drafting and reviewing the law, where several articles were approved, though only the issue of the duration of pretrial detention was publicly disclosed.


Additionally, the First Circuit of Terrorism issued a mass death sentence in Case No. 72 of 2021 (Emergency State Security Felonies) in Nasr City, known in the media as “Al-Manassa events,” and a judicial ruling was issued to imprison the famous Quran reader, Mohamed Nasr, for six months, according to a statement by the Syndicate of Quran Memorizers and Readers in Egypt, on charges of “violating the correct recitation of the Qur’an.”


Violations within detention centers and prisons:


The coalition documented four deaths inside the detention centers during the month. They also observed blatant violations against detainees held on political charges in the high-security Gamasa Prison, and the prolonged and renewed pretrial detention of a citizen with disabilities, Aqaba Alaa Hashad, detained as a punitive measure against his brother, a human rights defender living abroad.


Additionally, the health of detainee Mohamed Mansour Shakhrouba, held for a satirical video about selling meat in installments, has deteriorated, being charged with spreading false news and denied healthcare. The young man, Mohamed Ihab Moussa, was placed in disciplinary cells after his transfer to the Wadi Al-Natroun 5 Rehabilitation Center, despite having a kidney problem.


Demands of the coalition:


The Article 55 coalition believes that the conditions inside prisons and detention facilities are not surprising and fall within the general framework of how Egyptian authorities handle the detainee files—especially the political ones—as the matter is systematic and not just individual violations as promoted by the Egyptian Ministry of Interior.


The policy of impunity practiced by the Egyptian authorities towards human rights violators within their detention facilities has encouraged, fueled, and spread these practices until they have become a method of action for the Egyptian Prisons Authority; thus, no leadership or officials have been punished or even reprimanded despite documented and significant violations.


Therefore, the coalition affirms that these practices within prisons and detention facilities in Egypt raise serious concerns about the fate of detainees, especially following the recent increase in the number of deaths within detention facilities and the deterioration of living conditions inside.


Thus, the organizations call for an investigation into these violations and to hold those responsible accountable according to the correct Egyptian and international law, applying the United Nations Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners and the Egyptian Prison Regulations, stopping their violations, and providing living conditions worthy of the humanity of detainees.

Article 55 Coalition


Committee for Justice CFJ, El Shehab for Human Rights SHR, Egyptian Network for Human Rights ENHR, Their Right, We Record, Arab Foundation for Civil and Political Rights-(Nedal)

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