While hundreds of thousands of Egyptians have been calling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to leave office under the hashtag “Enough Mr. President” denouncing what they described as repression, tyranny, nationalization of public life and sponsoring corruption, the “We Record” team received a handwritten distress letter, depicting the condition of 16 convicted inmates in the death row placed in the execution ward, in Natrun Valley’s Prison 430.
The letter dealt with the violations the inmates are facing in 22 items, describing the small cells, lack of ventilation, deprivation of exercise, treatment and eating fresh food, in addition to mistreating the inmates’ relatives during the visit procedures, as well as also bringing the prisoners to the visits handcuffed.s
The letter also talked about the deliberate negligence of cells’ hygiene by the prison administration and overflowing sewage on the prisoners. This caused the spread of foul odours, as well as skin and chest infections. Thus, the prison administration inflicted these kinds of abuses exclusively on the death row inmates, especially in execution wards containing convicts of criminal cases.
The letter clarifies the severe conditions faced by political prisoners in the death row, in light of the prison administration’s failure to comply with all the legal rules and provisions stipulated by the Egyptian Prisons Regulation Law No. 396 of 1956 and its executive regulations, as well as the lack of respect for their psychological condition as their death sentences were finalized following trials that lacked fairness standards, ruled by extraordinary judicial departments with no power, jurisdiction, independence and impartiality.
The conduct of the prison administration with death row inmates only increases the pressure on them and makes them wish for death. This can lead them to suicide or death by disease or demand to speed the execution. Such practices constitute murder.