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Egypt: CFJ monitors 10th death in 2024: detainee’s demise in Minya al-Qamh raises alarms over medical negligence and detention conditions

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Press release

Geneva – March 20, 2024


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has monitored another death within Egypt’s detention system, shedding light on alleged medical negligence and deplorable conditions inside the Minya al-Qamh section in Sharkia Governorate.

The victim, identified as Muhammad al-Lail, a 60-year-old resident of Bani Nusair in Gharbia Governorate, succumbed to dire circumstances while under custody at Minya al-Qamh police station. Al-Lail, initially detained over irregular immigration charges, endured a harrowing journey through multiple detention centers before his eventual demise.

CFJ’s monitoring detects appalling conditions within the detention facility, including severe overcrowding, rampant substance abuse, inadequate ventilation, and a lack of medical attention. Al-Lail’s deteriorating health went unaddressed, leading to his tragic death.

Of grave concern is the alleged indifference displayed by authorities, notably exemplified by the actions of First Lieutenant Ziad Bey, who reportedly ignored Al-Lail’s critical condition and ordered his return to the detention room, where he ultimately passed away.

CFJ’s call for transparent and impartial investigations into Al-Lail’s death is echoed by demands for accountability for those responsible for the egregious medical neglect. Additionally, CFJ urges Egyptian authorities to adhere to international standards outlined in treaties like the Nelson Mandela Rules, emphasizing the imperative of upholding the rights of detainees.

This latest fatality marks the tenth death reported by CFJ within Egyptian prisons and detention facilities since the beginning of 2024, highlighting a disturbing pattern of systemic failures. Among the victims is Hassan Hussein Abdel Latif Hamida, whose demise on March 1st underscores the urgent need for reforms to prevent further tragedies.

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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