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Egypt: CFJ documents third death in custody in first two months of 2023

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Press release

By: Committee for Justice

Geneva: February 27, 2023

The Committee for Justice has documented a new death inside a detention center in Egypt, the third in 2023. The detainee is Saad Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Khedr, who died in February in Borg Al-Arab prison west of Alexandria due to medical neglect and poor prison conditions.

Deliberate neglect:

The deceased detainee, Saad Mahmoud Abdel-Ghani Khedr, was a former treasurer of the Syndicate of Scientists in Dakahlia. He was arrested on October 28, 2015, and was subjected to many violations in his prison, including preventing him from receiving regular treatment, which led to the deterioration of his health.

Khedr had been transferred to Al-Miri Hospital in Al-Raml area in Alexandria in recent months, but was returned to prison without completing his treatment. The prison administration did not inform his family of his transfer to the hospital, and even denied his transfer in the first place, and they did not allow his family to visit him.

Violation of local and international law:

The Committee for Justice stated that what happened with Khedr violated the provisions of Article 37 of the Egyptian Prisons Regulation Law No. 396 of 1956, which states: “If the condition of the sick prisoner reaches a degree of seriousness, the prison administration must take the initiative to inform the administration in which his family resides, to notify them immediately, and they shall be permitted to visit him.”

It is also contrary to Rule 69 of the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners, which states: “In the event of a prisoner’s death, the prison director shall at once inform the prisoner’s next of kin or emergency contact. Individuals designated by a prisoner to receive his or her health information shall be notified by the director of the prisoner’s serious illness, injury or transfer to a health institution. The explicit request of a prisoner not to have his or her spouse or nearest relative notified in the event of illness or injury shall be respected.”


Third death in 2023:

The Committee for Justice had previously documented the death of Mahmoud Abd al-Shafi al-Didamoni, a 42-year-old detainee inside the Zagazig police station in Egypt. He worked as a blacksmith in the village of Bani Amer in the Zagazig Center, and he was imprisoned pending case No. 2133 of 2021, the Zagazig Center in connection with charges of a political nature.

In January, CFJ also documented the death of detainee Sameh Tolba Saleh Al-Zeq (53 years old), in the same police station, due to the deterioration of his health as a result of his two-month detention after the end of a two-year prison sentence against him, bringing the number of deaths inside detention facilities in Egypt to three deaths since the start of 2023 only.

The Committee for Justice has documented 1,163 deaths inside detention facilities and prisons in Egypt since 2013, through its Justice Watch Archive platform, which is the first and largest platform for monitoring violations in detention facilities in Egypt.

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