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Egypt: CFJ documents two deaths in custody in one day, calls for investigation

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Press Release

Written by: CFJ

Geneva: May 16, 2023


The Committee for Justice has documented two cases of death among political detainees inside detention centers and prisons in Egypt within just 24 hours. The deceased individuals are Samah Mohammed Ahmed Mansour and Medin Ibrahim Mohammed Hassanein.


Death due to medical negligence at the Badr Prison Complex Hospital:


Samah Mohammed Ahmed Mansour (58 years old), a mathematics teacher from Port Said Governorate, died last Saturday while being held in pretrial detention since September 2021 on a political charge, due to medical negligence in the Intensive Care Unit of Badr Rehabilitation and Correction Center Hospital. Mansour’s health deteriorated during the past months due to inhumane detention conditions and extreme obstinacy by the administration of “Badr Prison 1” in allowing him to receive appropriate medical treatment. He suffered from severe kidney atrophy.


Death of a leader in the “Ansar al-Sharia Battalions” organization:


Less than 24 hours later, Medin Ibrahim Mohammed Hassanein, also known as Sheikh Medin Hassanein (63 years old), an imam, preacher, and religious advocate who held a leadership position in the “Ansar al-Sharia Battalions” organization, passed away on Sunday at Assiut Hospital during his treatment. His body was handed over to his family on Monday.


Sudanese authorities had arrested Medin in November 2018, and he was deported to Egypt in September 2019, where he was transferred to the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Zagazig. He appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution in late October 2019 and was subsequently sent to Tora Reception Prison.


In January 2022, the Third Terrorism Circuit of the Emergency State Security Court, presided over by Judge Mohamed Hamad, sentenced Medin to life imprisonment on charges of joining “Jund al-Aqsa and Jabhat al-Nusra,” which are affiliated with Al-Qaeda and based outside the country in Syria, receiving military training for carrying out terrorist operations, and placing him and the entity he belonged to on the list of terrorist entities.


9 previous death cases, including a former parliament member:


With these deaths, the number of deaths inside detention centers in Egypt, which CFJ managed to document since the beginning of 2023, has risen to 11 cases. The latest case was a political detainee named Mohamed Gomaa, held in Abu Zaabal prison in Qalyubia Governorate. He was from Kafr Shukr Center in the same governorate and was detained in connection with Supreme State Security Case No. 2094 of 2023.


The organization also documented the death of the former lawyer and parliament member, Ragab Mohamed Abu Zeid (80 years old), former representative of the Bandar Shibin Al-Kom constituency in Al-Menofia Governorate’s People’s Assembly. He died inside Wadi El Natrun Prison Complex due to deteriorating health conditions and medical neglect by the prison administration. He suffered from bronchitis, prostate enlargement, weak heart muscle, diabetes, and had undergone a heart stent procedure. He also suffered from nerve atrophy in his hands.


CFJ also documented the death of the detainee Ramadan Youssef Ashry (50 years old), a lawyer from Abu Homs Center in the Beheira Governorate in the western Delta. He was detained in a political case since 2014 in the Al-Abadeya Prison in Beheira Governorate, and he died from a sudden heart attack.


The organization also documented the death of the detainee Mohamed Mustafa Sayed Ahmed (55 years old) from Cairo, inside his cell in Wadi El Natrun Prison due to medical neglect by the prison hospital. He suffered from kidney failure.


The organization also documented the death of a psychiatrist named Ragai Wafaey (40 years old), who died at the Gamsa Police Station in Dakahlia Governorate, northeast of the Delta in Egypt, due to poor detention conditions and medical neglect.


CFJ also documented four other deaths of detainees inside detention centers in Egypt. They are: the detainee Mohamed Sayed Morsi (52 years old), who died as a result of torture at the National Security headquarters in Damietta City, and the detainee Mahmoud Abdel Shafi El-Dedamoni (42 years old), who was imprisoned under Case No. 2133 of 2021 in Zagazig and accused of political charges at Zagazig Police Station. Additionally, the detainee Samah Talaat Saleh El-Zak (53 years old) at the same police station, who suffered a deterioration in his health condition after being held for two months beyond his two-year prison sentence.


Furthermore, the detainee Saad Mahmoud Abdelghany Khedr, the former treasurer of the Scientists Syndicate in Dakahlia, died inside Borg El Arab prison. He was arrested on October 28, 2015, and was subjected to multiple violations inside his detention, including being denied regular medical treatment, which led to the deterioration of his health condition.


CFJ holds the Egyptian authorities, specifically the Ministry of Interior and the Prisons Authority, responsible for these deaths. It demands a transparent, effective, and impartial investigation into these incidents, identifying those responsible and punishing them accordingly.


The organization also urged the Egyptian authorities to adhere to international standards for detention conditions, ensuring immediate and regular access for detainees to any necessary medical assistance they may require.


Accurate information about death cases during detention in Egypt can be obtained through the Justice Watch Archive service provided by CFJ, which contains information about more than 14,000 victims and over 30,000 violations. It also monitors violations inside more than 500 places of detention in Egypt.

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