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Egypt: CFJ monitors 3 deaths in detention centers due to inhumane conditions

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Press release

Geneva – June 12, 2024


The “Committee for Justice” (CFJ) has monitored three deaths in Egyptian detention centers, one involving a political detainee and the other two involving criminal detainees, all attributed to inhumane conditions of confinement.

The first case involves a political detainee at Gamasa Prison, Mohamed Askar, aged 40, from Shubra El Kheima, Qalyubia Governorate. He suffered a heart attack and did not receive prompt medical attention, leading to his death on Friday, June 7, 2024.

The second and third cases involve criminal detainees. The first, Maki Mostafa Maki, aged 22, was held at the First Assiut Police Station in Assiut Governorate, southern Egypt, on drug charges for the past month and a half. Due to the inhumane detention conditions, he developed a high fever and fell into a coma, resulting in his death on Friday, June 7, 2024, amidst medical negligence by the detention staff.

The final case concerns a detainee at the Imbaba Police Station, Shehab Ahmed Kahla, aged 25. Following a fight inside the detention center, he and others were punished by being shackled and left in overcrowded cells, leading to his death on the same day.

CFJ is calling for prompt, transparent, and impartial investigations into the circumstances surrounding these deaths and for those responsible for the medical negligence to be held accountable.

CFJ also urges the Egyptian Public Prosecution to fulfill its legal role in monitoring detention centers and prisons, ensuring the living conditions and healthcare provided to detainees meet adequate standards.

Additionally, the committee presses the Egyptian authorities to improve living conditions in detention centers and to adhere to international and UN treaties, particularly the Nelson Mandela Rules for the protection of the rights of people deprived of their liberty.

With these latest incidents, the number of deaths in Egyptian prisons and detention centers documented by the “Committee for Justice” since the beginning of 2024 has risen to 22. The most recent prior case involved political detainee Sadiq Abdel Rahman Sadiq El Sharkawy, aged 74, from Nasr City, Cairo. A businessman and pioneer in the Arabization of computer software globally, he was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood and chairman of the board of the “Misr 25” channel. He died on Sunday, May 19, 2024.

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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