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HRW urges Egypt authorities to open investigation into deaths of 4 detainees

September 5, 2020 at 1:27 pm

A picture taken during a guided tour organised by the Egyptian State Information Service on November 20, 2019, shows inmates receiving medical treatment at the clinic of Borg el-Arab prison near the Egyptian city of Alexandria [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP via Getty Images]

Human Rights Watch (HRW) urged Egyptian authorities to open a full investigation into the causes of the deaths of four detainees in three days inside Egyptian prisons.

The organisation’s statement reported the death of detainee Ahmad Abdelnabi, 64, on Wednesday, after a two-year detention in Cairo maximum-security prison Ala-Akrab. The report mentioned that: “The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms reported the deaths of three other detainees, namely Sobhi Al-Saqqa in Borg El-Arab prison, Shaaban Husein Khaled in Fayum prison and Abdelrahman Yusuf Zawal in Tora prison.”

“When Egyptian authorities take someone into custody, they become responsible for that detainee’s wellbeing. The authorities need to open a full investigation into the causes of death of the three Egyptian detainees,” announced Joe Stork, deputy director for Human Rights Watch.

“Detainees and prisoners keep dying in Egyptian prisons despite frequent pleas for adequate health care. This reflects unacceptable negligence on the part of Egyptian prisons authorities,” added Stork, according to the statement.

Egypt often faces criticism concerning harmed detained journalists and opposition politicians in freedom of opinion and expression law cases. Cairo, however, repeatedly asserts that it secures all lawful guarantees and freedoms to prisoners without distinction.