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Egypt: Eighth Death in Detention Facilities in 2024 Raises Alarms: CFJ Demands Accountability

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Press release

Geneva – March 10, 2024


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has reported the eighth death within Egyptian detention facilities this year, shedding light on the unfortunate fate of a political detainee, Ahmed Muhammad Abu Al-Yazid Al-Beltagy (33 years old), held at the “Abu Zaabal” prison in the Marg area of Qalyubia Governorate.

Al-Beltagy, hailing from the city of Zagazig in Sharkia Governorate, was arrested last October and endured a harrowing 20-day period of enforced disappearance. Upon resurfacing, he exhibited signs of severe fatigue during his appearance at the Supreme State Security Prosecution, where he faced interrogation for Case No. 2902 of 2023. Shockingly, he remained in pretrial detention until his recent and mysterious death.

Expressing deep condemnation, CFJ unequivocally holds the Egyptian Ministry of Interior and the Prisons Authority responsible for Al-Beltagy’s demise. The committee urgently calls for a comprehensive investigation to uncover the circumstances surrounding the death and demands the identification and punishment of the perpetrators to prevent any further acts of impunity.

CFJ also censures the handling of the case by the Supreme State Security Prosecution, highlighting its negligence regarding the enforced disappearance suffered by the victim at the onset of detention. The failure to initiate an investigation into this violation resulted in impunity for the perpetrators, prompting CFJ to advocate for a serious and transparent inquiry into the enforced disappearance, given its potential link to the deterioration of the victim’s health and subsequent mysterious death.

With this latest fatality, the death toll monitored by the Justice Committee within Egyptian prisons and detention facilities in 2024 has risen to eight, involving six political detainees and two individuals accused of criminal offenses. CFJ emphasizes the urgency of addressing this alarming trend and reiterates its call for accountability, transparency, and adherence to international human rights standards in the treatment of detainees to prevent further tragedies.

CFJ underscores its commitment to justice through its Justice Monitoring Archive, which contains detailed information on over 14,000 victims, cataloging more than 30,000 violations and offenses within 500 detention facilities in Egypt. The organization reiterates the imperative need for accountability and transparency, emphasizing the adherence to international human rights standards to safeguard the well-being of detainees and avert any further loss of life.

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