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Price of prison visits in Egypt goes up 500%

July 17, 2019 at 12:13 pm

Prisoners are seen during a court case in Cairo on 28 July 2018 [Khaled Desouki/AFP/Getty Images]

The price of special permits to visit family members of detainees in Egypt has gone up from three Egyptian pounds ($0.18) to 15 ($0.9), a 500 per cent rise, says the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms.

Price rises have been implemented in Shebin Al-Kom Prison and Al-Hadra Prison in Alexandria.

The news comes amid tightening measures on prisoners in Egypt since the death of former President Mohamed Morsi, who collapsed in a court room after being held in solitary confinement for years and consistently denied medical attention.

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The families of several detainees were denied visits in the aftermath of his death, though this is a common punitive measure already used by Egyptian authorities. Ola Al-Qaradawi, for example, has been in solitary confinement for over 700 days and has never been allowed a family visit.

Morsi’s death shone a spotlight on the miserable conditions endured by detainees in Egypt, who are tortured, denied medical attention and kept in overcrowded cells often without a toilet or a bed.

The rise in the price of visitor permits which are obtained from the Public Prosecutor comes amid harsh austerity measures being rolled out across the country as per the terms of an IMF loan.

Authorities have just slashed fuel subsidies for a fifth time, raising the price of petrol and diesel by 22 per cent, which closely followed a 15 per cent rise in the cost of electricity.

The price of cinema tickets, train and metro fares have also gone up.