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Al-Nadim: 13 deaths in Egyptian detention centres in June

July 3, 2020 at 3:26 pm

Inmates are seen inside an Egyptian prison on 19 November 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Images]

The Al-Nadim Centre for Human Rights has documented 13 deaths in  detention in Egypt due to medical negligence in the month of June.

At the beginning of June Reda Abdullah, 70, died after his diabetes went untreated.

He had been detained since 27 August 2019 when he was arrested from his home.

There has been a serious escalation in withholding medical care and medicine from detainees over the last several months.

Experts say that deliberately withholding treatment amounts to torture.

In May, eight people died in detention, a number of whom had suspected coronavirus including Mohammed Khater Ghamry.

Mohammed was being held in the Shehab Centre for Human Rights and complained of having a high temperature. At least four other inmates reported experiencing the same symptoms in addition to respiratory distress.

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Former prisoners who have been released have spoken out about the long-term effects of being denied medical care after their conditions were allowed to deteriorate.

It is a tactic used across the world from Guantanamo Bay to prisons in Iran.

Since the beginning of the covid pandemic in Egypt, authorities have increased their crackdown on journalists, politicians and activists as they move to consolidate control over the narrative.

Since March, political prisoners have not been allowed family visits in a bid to stem the spread of the virus, however, they have also banned many from receiving and making phone calls.

International governments have called on the Egyptian regime to release political prisoners amid fears that the overcrowded, unhygienic prison cells are fertile ground for the spread of the virus.

Egypt officially has 71,299 cases of coronavirus and 3,120 deaths though experts warn the true figure is likely to be far higher.