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Geneva 22 May 2018

Following CfJ’s eight reports on human rights violations against detainees in Egyptian detention places for the entirety of months in 2017 and[1]; Detention Watch project proceeds in this issue to provide an analytical overview of the human rights situation in Egyptian detention places – formal and informal – during the months of March and April 2018; while holding the authorities accountable of their obligations mandated by law (Egyptian constitution, Egyptian criminal law, and international human rights treaties Egypt has signed).

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:

  • 135 incidents of violations in detention places were monitored in March 2018. In April 2018, 163 incidents of violations were recorded.
  • Out of those 135 cases in March, a total of 103 cases of enforced disappearance was monitored (76.2% of monitored violations in March 2018). Medical negligence is the second most frequent violation with 16 incidents reported (11.8 % of monitored violations). Then, extra-judicial killings with 11 reported cases (8.1 %), and finally, torture with 5 reported cases at 3.7%.
  • Sharqia governorate is responsible for 27 reported enforced disappearance incidents at 26.2% of total reported cases.
  • CFJ monitored 11 deaths in March 2018 that are due to extra-judicial killings whether inside detention places or following enforced disappearance.
  • CFJ monitored 5 cases of death due to medical negligence in detention in March 2018. 2 of the deaths took place in Minya Maximum Security Prison which continues the disturbing trend of high death counts in the prison since we begin monitoring the issue in January 2017.
  • In March 2018, 22 students suffered from human rights violations with 2 suffering from arbitrary detentions and 18 subjected to enforced disappearance.
  • In April 2018, 134 cases of enforced disappearance were monitored (82.2% of monitored violations in April 2018). Medical negligence is the second most frequent violation with 17 incidents reported amounting to 10.4% of monitored violations. Followed by, Extra- Judicial Killings with 8 incidents at 4.9% and torture with 4 incidents at 2.4% of all reported incidents.
  • Sharqia Governorate has the highest number of enforced disappearance with 41 reported arrests and disappearance (30.5%), almost double Cairo governorate which follows it with 21 cases at 15.6%.
  • CFJ monitored 8 deaths in detention places across Egypt due to medical negligence in April 2018. 5 of the deaths took place in police stations across Egypt, while one of the deaths happened in Minya Maximum Security Prison. This means that within two months, Minya Maximum Security Prison already had 3 detainees die due to medical negligence.
  • In April 2018, 14 students suffered from human rights violations with 13 suffering from enforced disappearance and 1 suffering from solitary confinement. Out of the 14 students, 5 of them are high school students while the other 9 are university students.
  • CFJ documented 34 incidents of violations targeted at 28 detainees across detention places in Egypt in March and April 2018.
  • Same as the monitored data, enforced disappearance is the number one violation with a 50% of all documented violations. Followed by, arbitrary detention which constitute 29.4% of total documented violations.
  • 26 detainees out of the 28 had been subjected to enforced disappearance (92.8 % of all verified detainees cases).
  • the most targeted age group is youth during their teenage years and their twenties. This group is followed equally by the older generation (in their thirties and forties) and the elderly (above 50 years of age).
  • Most detainees (22 out of 28 detainees or 78.5% of all verified detainee cases) are not serving a sentence but are in pre-trial detention.


[1]For more information about CFJ Detention Watch reports


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