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Egypt human rights council praises prison days after inmate dies 

Relatives speak with Egyptian prisoners as they stand behind bars in a court in Cairo on 9 August 2015 [Stringer/Apaimages]
Relatives of those in prison speak through the bars in a court in Cairo on 9 August 2015 [Stringer/Apaimages]

A delegation for the government-run National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) has carried out a PR visit to Minya Prison just days after a political detainee died of medical negligence.

Ibrahim Hosni Bassiouni died last Friday yet prison authorities left his body in the cell until Saturday morning. Witnesses said he was crying for help all night and asking to be taken to hospital but the prison administration ignored his and his cell mates' pleas.

Less than 24 hours later Al-Sayad Hilal Ali Faraj died as a result of medical negligence in Dyarb Negm Hospital in Al-Sharqiya governorate.

According to the NCHR's report delegation members met with inmates, visited the prison bakery, kitchen, library, sports facilities and clinics and praised the living conditions and rehabilitation services offered at the prison.

This goes contrary to reports from human rights organisations which document severe abuse inside Egypt's prisons. A report by the Cairo based NGO El-Nadeem said that 111 people died in prison in the first half of this year after being subject to medical negligence.

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In July another inmate at Minya Prison, Kilani Hassan, died as a result of deliberate medical negligence and poor prison conditions.

Adel Abdulwahab Abu Eisheh died in Wadi Al-Natroun prison and Omar Adel died in Tora Prison after being denied medical treatment, both this year.

At the beginning of November Egyptian authorities visited Tora Prison after a UN panel of experts slammed Egypt for conditions at the jail.

Experts said former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi's death in a courtroom in June after being denied medical care could amount to a "state-sanctioned arbitrary killing" and warned that thousands of others are at risk of suffering the same fate.

A journalist who went on NCHR's prison tour told Mada Masr that he was prevented from talking to prisoners and that the group he was with were not shown any of the cells. Journalists were prevented from asking any questions during a press conference held at the end of the visit.

Detained activists Alaa Abd Fattah and Mohamed Al-Baqer are all detained in Tora Prison and have all spoken about the abuse they have suffered there.

Former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is detained in Tora Prison where he is held in solitary confinement, denied the right to exercise or access to fresh air. Despite suffering two heart attacks and constant warnings from his family that his life is in danger, Fotouh has been denied medical care.

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