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Geneva 25 March 2018

The Committee for Justice is publishing its first 2018 reports of the reports’ series “Detention Watch” which are covering the human rights violations inside detention centers in Egypt. This reports series is the outcome of research efforts made by excellent researchers in Egypt working on the project of “Violations in Places of Detention”.

The end objective of such periodic reports is to

  • inform national and international stakeholders of the ongoing conditions inside places of detention,
  • enable families of victims and detainees to factually establish claims of illegal and inhumane circumstances that are endured,
  • engage or demand engagement of authorities into a dialogue that can formulate coherent and consistent strategies and legislation that put an end to such violations,
  • support prevention of impunity of human rights violations in places of detention,
  • contribute to the transitional justice mechanisms that this country will or might employ at a later stage

The methodology of this activity primarily entailed monitoring and observing violations being reported formally and informally on a day-to-day basis. After collecting the primary data, the project team employed the verification tool; a step that is regrettably overlooked by many other human rights organizations reporting in the same field due to difficulties establishing contact, time consumption and risks associated. Authenticating the data collected is a crucial step to safeguard the credibility of the data presented, and to be able to legally hold the violators accountable with proof. Accordingly, it was imperative for Detention Watch to communicate with the families of each detainee who suffered a violation and verify all the information needed.  All the gathered data whether monitored or verified were finally compiled in this report with a contextual and statistical analysis; while shedding light on the challenges and limitations handled while working on the material.

Key findings that Detention Watch reached can be summarized as follows:

  • 147 incidents of violations in detention places were monitored in January 2018. In February 2018, 128 incidents of violations were recorded.
  • Out of those 147 cases in January, a total of 91 cases of enforced disappearance was monitored (61.9% of monitored violations in January 2018). Torture is the second most frequent violation with 26 incidents reported (17.6% of monitored violations). Then, medical negligence with 14 reported cases (9.5%), 9 cases of death in custody (6.1%) and finally, extrajudicial killing with 7 reported cases at 4.7%.
  • Behera Governorate is responsible for 16 of the reported cases or 17.5% of all the cases and is followed by Sharqia Governorate with 10 reported enforced disappearance incidents at 10.9%.
  • Out of 128 cases in February, 99 cases of enforced disappearance were monitored (77.3% of monitored violations in February 2018) with 13 incidents of enforced disappearances from detention places at 10.1%. Medical negligence is the second most frequent violation with 10 incidents reported amounting to 7.8% of monitored violations. Followed by, torture and death in custody with 3 incidents each at 2.3% of all reported incidents each.
  • Unlike January, Sharqia Governorate has the highest number of enforced disappearance with 23 reported arrests and disappearance (23%) and followed closely by Dakahlia Governorate with 22 cases. Followed by Cairo with 12 cases and Behera Governorate with 10 cases.
  • CFJ documented 44 incidents of violations targeted at 32 detainees across detention places in Egypt in January and February 2018.
  • Enforced disappearance is the number one violation with a 31.8% of all documented violations. Followed by, medical negligence with 18.1% of total violations. Then, torture, arbitrary detention, and ill-treatment with 15.9% each. Finally, the CFJ team documented 1 case of extrajudicial killing.
  • Minya General Prison has the highest number of violations these two months with 7 documented incidents of violations.
  • 26 out of 32 detainees were subjected to enforced disappearance (81.2% of all verified detainees).
  • the most targeted age group is youth during their teenage years and their twenties. This group is followed by the older generation (in their thirties and forties), and then last come the elderly (above 50 years of age).
  • Most detainees (24 out of 32 detainees or 75% of all verified detainee cases) are not serving a sentence but are in pre-trial detention.
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