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Egypt | Detention Watch “Violations in Egyptian Places of Detention” Bimonthly report November-December 2019

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Following CFJ’s previous periodic reports on human rights violations against individuals who are under the custody of law enforcement officers and security agencies in the Egyptian places of detention, this report proceeds to provide an analytical overview of the human rights situation in Egypt during November and December 2019;

while holding the authorities accountable for their obligations, as mandated by law (Egyptian Constitution, Egyptian Criminal Law, as well as International Human Rights Treaties that Egypt has signed).

The end objective of our periodic reports is to:

  • Inform national and international stakeholders of the ongoing conditions inside Egyptian places of detention.
  • Engage, or demand the engagement of authorities, into a dialogue that can serve in coherent and consistent
    strategies and legislations that end these violations; and
  • Raise awareness of the ongoing violations of human rights inside places of detention.

Thereof, key findings that Detention Watch has reached- during the period covered by this report- can be summarized as follows:

  • CFJ team documented 159 enforced disappearance cases of people arrested from homes/streets/workplaces in November-December 2019. Of these, we documented the appearance of 91 victims before the competent authorities, some of whom were released through an official record or, else, unofficially.
  • We documented the enforced disappearance of 13 persons from inside their places of detention after they had received a release order or a court decision of acquittal, or after they had completed their sentence.
  • 401 individuals were arbitrarily detained. Also, we documented the renewed detention of 16 detainees during the report period.
  • Our team documented the extra-judicial killing of 124 victims, including 109 victims in incidents that CFJ considers as ‘summary executions’, and 15 deaths inside the places of detention.
  • When sorted by the place of occurrence, 4 deaths occurred in 4 prisons, 9 deaths in 8 police stations, one suicide case in a police station, and another in a ‘deportation vehicle’.
  • As for the cause of death, 13 deaths have resulted from ‘denial of medical care’, while suicide and torture claimed 2 lives during the period covered by this report.
  • Our team documented 211 violations against at least 110 detainees, which fall under ‘poor detention conditions’ inside places of detention. With regards to Ill-treatment, ‘Mansoura General Prison’ headed the list of violations with 80 incidents in November, while ‘Qanater Women Prison’ comes first with 39 violations in December 2019. Also, we documented 35 incidents of ‘denial of medical care’ in 17 places of detention, and 30 ‘deportation/alienation’ incidents during the report period.
  • We documented 20 hunger strikes in November-December 2019.
  • We documented 6 individual and one collective torture incidents against 46 detainees.

During November and December 2019, CFJ documented violations against groups of a special status:

  • o 8 lawyers were forcibly disappeared. We documented the appearance of 4, of them, before competent
    authorities. Another 3 lawyers were subjected to renewed detention.
  • o 5rights/political activists were forcibly disappeared, and we noted the appearance of 4 persons before the
    competent authorities. Also, an activist was subjected to arbitrary detention and another to renewed
  • o 9 journalists were forcibly disappeared, four of whom appeared at a later time before the competent
    authorities. Also, 6 journalists were arrested and released after a few hours.
  • o Three minors were forcibly disappeared along with their parents. Our team could not identify their whereabouts until the completion of data collection for this report.
  • o We documented the forcible disappearance of 12 students, 10o of whom appeared later, while another two students were arbitrarily detained.
  • o 100 workers in Port said were arbitrarily arrested after authorities had dispersed their strike demonstration, in protest of poor salaries and desperate work conditions.
  • o As for women, we documented violations against 80 victims, 8 of whom were forcibly disappeared- including a rights activist and two journalists. We noted the appearance of 5 women at a later time while the whereabouts of the remaining three are yet unknown to us. Also, we documented the arrest of two women and their release after few hours, while 70 workers in Port said were arbitrarily detained.

– From inside the places of detention:

  • o Wedocumentedviolationsagainst6politicalactivists,3journalists, one university student, and one minor.
    Violations varied between arbitrary detention, ban of exercise hours, ban of visitation, joint custody with criminal inmates, denial of medical care, intransigence in undertaking due release orders, overcrowding, restriction of toilet visits, and renewed detention.
  • o We documented violations against 18 women inside Qanater Women Prison. These varied between a denial of medical, care solitary confinement, poor detention conditions, restriction of toilet visits, and repeated humiliating search. 12 women have initiated a complete/partial hunger strike in objection to poor detention conditions.
    With regards to the verified human rights violations in November-December:
  • o We verified 150 violations against 32 detainees in the report’ duration. Poor detention conditions enforced disappearance, and deprivation of liberty headed the list with 80, 26, and 19 violations respectively.
  • o We verified 124 (of 150) violations inside 8 prisons against 20 detainees. Among which, we verified 80 cases of Poor detention conditions and 13 cases of denial of medical care. Also, 12 verified torture incidents had occurred during the reporting period.
  • o We verified 26 enforced disappearance, of which only 14 appeared later before different investigations authorities while 12 cases remain forcibly disappeared- by the time we completed the data collection for this report.
  • o The majority of verified places of detention lie in Cairo and Sharqiyya governorates were 18 and 4 detainees, in order, suffered violations during the reporting period.
  • o Excluding violations against forcibly disappeared detainees, who hadn’t appeared yet, Tora Prisons Complex (investigation and Maximum-security 1,2) witnessed the highest number of violations, that we were able to verify, against 12 detainees.
  • o We verified 19 cases of arbitrary detention that fall under one or more of the five categories of arbitrary detention, particularly (1)- deprivation of liberty without legal justification; (2)-deprivation of liberty resulting from the exercise of universal human rights; and (3)- grave violations of the right to a fair trial.
  • o We verified 13 cases of denial of medical care in different places of detention. The majority of these cases (10) occurred in Tora Prisons Complex.
  • o Among 32 verified cases, 12 victims have been tortured in different places of detention, with the majority of incidents occurring in different National Security Premises.
  • o 27 out of 32 verified cases do not serve any post-trial sentences.

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