The undersigned organizations and campaigns express their deep concern over the leaked messages from inside the Badr Prison Complex. The letters reveal horrors committed against detainees, which would not have been possible if there were continuous international and UN pressure on the Egyptian authorities to stop these human rights abuses.
We have received a number of messages that prisoners inside Badr managed to smuggle, confirming that human rights disasters have occurred against a large number of detainees since they began a partial hunger strike on February 17 in protest against being denied family visits and demanding that prison regulations be applied to them. The prison administration has responded with stubbornness and security measures, leading to the deterioration of the situation.
Whereas some world leaders seek to reevaluate their approach with the Egyptian government – focusing on the development aspect instead of human rights – we believe that this will lead to even more catastrophic results for human rights in Egypt and will entrench the culture of impunity.
The undersigned organizations and campaigns state that the Badr Prison Complex, which was opened by the Egyptian authorities at the end of 2021, in the Badr area northeast of the capital Cairo, instead of being a modern alternative to traditional old prisons, has become a human slaughterhouse where the most severe violations are committed and that attempts by the Egyptian authorities to improve their image through these new prisons have utterly failed because they changed the facilities and infrastructure but did not change the minds that manage these facilities.
The security mentality still dominates the way detainees are treated, especially those detained on political grounds, so it is natural for us to witness such violations inside the Badr Prison Complex.
The leaked messages reveal that the new Badr prison complex is witnessing waves of suicide attempts that have never occurred in the history of Egyptian prisons. Badr 1 prison has so far witnessed about three suicide cases, the first was for a detainee within the prison, and two cases at the State Security Prosecution headquarters in the Fifth Settlement for two detainees who were later transferred to the medical center in the Badr prison complex.
Badr 3 prison also witnessed more than seven other suicide attempts, including the detainee Abdullah Omar, who attempted suicide for the second time since February 17 last year, and an attempted suicide by Ahmed Sami, from the city of Hurghada, who had been acquitted in the Ansar Al-Sharia case after several years of imprisonment in the Scorpion prison, but he was added on a new case called Sinai Province organization immediately after his acquittal, and referred for trial again.
The prison administration vehemently refused to release any reports regarding those suicide cases.
In Badr 3 prison, the administration sprayed water hoses on detainees inside the cells in response to some of them burning blankets and putting (obstructive objects) on the surveillance cameras inside the cells, as a protest means for not responding to their demands to open visitation, and the
refusal of the National Security officer in charge of the prison complex, named Yahya Zakaria, to respond to the demands.
Detainees in Badr 3 were also subjected to the reduction of the amount of food distributed to them, which they say is not enough to satisfy the hunger of a child. They also reported that there was a ban on providing any medical services or dispensing medicines to patients. The prison administration also stopped providing personal hygiene items, so inmates cannot wash their clothes or bathe, which could lead to poisoning and the spread of skin diseases among detainees. The above mistreatment has prompted detainees to threaten to abstain from food and refuse to receive their allocated meals.
Based on the above, the undersigned organizations and campaigns call on UN mechanisms and the international community to seriously deal with the horrors occurring in the Badr Prison Complex, and in Egyptian prisons in general, and to pressure the Egyptian authorities to put an end to the systematic violations of human rights against detainees.
Committee for Justice (CFJ)
ELShehab for Human Rights
The Arab Foundation for Civil and Political Rights (Nedal)
The Egyptian Network for Human Rights
Egyptian Center for Education Right
HuMENA for Human Rights and Civic Engagemen