Creating new perspectives since 2009

Egypt: Rights group reveals identity of prison officer injured in September ‘prison break’

October 19, 2020 at 12:23 pm

An Egyptian police officer enters the Tora prison in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 11 February 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

A human rights organisation has revealed the identity of the prison officer injured in an alleged prison break last month as Muhammad Al-Adly, head of investigations at Tora Prison.

On 23 September Egypt’s Minister of Interior released a statement to say that four prisoners and three prison guards were killed in H1 block after inmates tried to break out of Tora maximum security jail.

At the time, rights groups cast doubt on the official version of events, pointing out that that Tora is one of the highest secured prisons in the whole of the country and is surrounded by cameras both inside and outside rendering an escape impossible.

What actually happened that day has been mired in confusion, given that the prisoners have little contact with the outside world as family visits have been severely restricted and mobile phones are banned.

READ: Egypt releases satirist and political prisoner Shady Abu Zeid

The rights group says it has now managed to get some details of the incident. We Record told MEMO, “according to our sources, [Muhammad] was hit with small metal tools that were with the prisoners, and he managed to escape at the beginning of the incident.”

After Muhammad managed to escape, the four detainees closed the door of the wing “knowing it was impossible to escape from prison” and were killed shortly after.

We Record are calling on the public prosecutor to open an investigation into the incident and publish surveillance camera footage of what happened to prove whether the inmates were attempting to escape or if they were actually killed.

At the beginning of October, Egypt executed 15 political prisoners, 13 of whom were from H1 block, and are thought to have witnessed the alleged prison escape attempt.

Analysts said their execution could have been a message to the remaining detainees to keep quiet over what happened.