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Over 170 victims of medical negligence in Egyptian prisons

May 15, 2015 at 11:30 am

The UK-based Arab Organisation for Human Rights has reported that over 170 individuals have been killed due to medical negligence in Egyptian prisons since July 2013. These statistics are based on a list made by the organisation, a copy of which was obtained by Arabi 21.

In a statement obtained by Arabi 21 newspaper, the organisation stated that some of the prisoners died “as a result of torture, while others died from deliberate medical negligence by failing to provide medical attention. In addition to this, there have been cases of maltreatment and corruption in prison, detention centre, and police station administrations.”

The organisation noted that many of the victims “were charged with false criminal charges with no proof, or arrest warrants were issued against them by a judiciary that suffers from politicisation and decline”. It also stated that “the detention of any suspect before judicial conviction is an exceptional case, and it is not the normal state in Egypt.”

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights condemned the death of Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) official Farid Ismail, who has been in detention for over 6 months, in a Cairo hospital yesterday. He was transferred to the hospital days before his death because he had been in a coma for two weeks. He did not wake up from the coma and died while in it.

The statement reported that the prisoner died “as a result of a stroke in the brain and a liver malfunction, which led to the partial paralysis of his right side, in addition to the authorities’ negligence in addressing his dangerous state.”

The FJP official was transferred to the hospital in the maximum security Tora Prison (where he was being held) on May 5, 2015 after the prison administration was surprised to find him unconscious in his solitary confinement cell.

The organisation’s statement also noted “the duration of his unconsciousness before being discovered by the prison administration was not stated. The hospital’s preliminary diagnosis suggested that he suffered from a stroke in the brain and a failure in liver functions.”

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights expressed its surprise at the prison administration’s decision to transport him 100 kilometres to attend a hearing, despite the fact that doctors diagnosed his situation as critical. The administration then stated, “It did not possess the minimum capabilities required to treat his case, and was therefore transported once against on May 10, 2015 to Tora Liman Prison hospital, which is the same distance away.”