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Egypt: CFJ Monitors Political Detainees’ Partial Hunger Strike in Wadi El-Natroun Prison, Urges Dialogue

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Press release

Geneva – February 7, 2024


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) is closely monitoring the partial hunger strike initiated by political detainees within Wadi al-Natroun prison (Ta’heel 2). The detainees are protesting against dismal detention conditions, perceived intransigence by the prison administration, and alleged negligence in health care.

The CFJ’s monitoring team has reported that the prison administration, in violation of basic human rights, has obstructed the entry of essential items such as food and warm clothing, leaving political detainees vulnerable to the harsh cold. The cells, devoid of windows and in poor condition, have contributed to the spread of respiratory diseases among the detainees, aggravating their psychological well-being.

Furthermore, the CFJ highlights the prison administration’s disregard for individuals with chronic illnesses by failing to provide necessary medications, jeopardizing lives and leading to fatalities among those with critical health conditions.

In a clear violation of Egyptian prison regulations, the prison administration has drastically reduced family visit durations to a mere 10 minutes, monitored through microphones, thereby infringing upon the right to privacy.

Facing these harsh conditions, the political detainees within Wadi al-Natroun prison (Rehabilitation 2) have issued a warning that if their demands for the entry of medicines, food, and clothing, along with an extension of the visitation period, are not met, they will escalate their protest to a total hunger strike, holding the prison administration fully accountable for the deteriorating situation.

The CFJ stands in full solidarity with the political detainees, viewing their hunger strike as a means to reclaim fundamental human rights unjustly denied to them. Additionally, the CFJ holds the Wadi al-Natroun prison administration accountable for the well-being of detainees partaking in the hunger strike.

Urging the Egyptian Prisons Authority to abandon its policy of deprivation and alienation in responding to prisoner strikes, the CFJ calls for the initiation of dialogue channels with the detainees. Furthermore, it demands an end to the discriminatory policies against political detainees, emphasizing the importance of upholding their fundamental human rights as guaranteed by international covenants and conventions signed by Egypt. The CFJ underscores the imperative need for immediate action to address the pressing concerns of the detainees and ensure a respectful and humane treatment within the prison system.

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