Crowded, dirty, deadly: prisons in Egypt

Schady Habasch, everything, only not a criminal. As an aspiring film-maker with a sense for extensive Aesthetics Habasch enjoyed the thrill of his craft until h

Crowded, dirty, deadly: prisons in Egypt

Schady Habasch, everything, only not a criminal. As an aspiring film-maker with a sense for extensive Aesthetics Habasch enjoyed the thrill of his craft until he is ripped from his life and in the Tora prison in Cairo, was thrown.

in 2018, he was accused to be a terrorist organization, and to have false news spread. Shortly before, he had filmed a video clip for the Song "Balaha" of the exiled Egyptian rock musician Ramy Essam. The song dealt critically with Egypt's President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

at the beginning of may Habasch died at the age of 24 years in his cell. Hours fellow prisoners had asked the prison officials to provide medical assistance. According to reports, they knocked on the walls, in order to move the guards to Act - in vain.

"disinfectant drunk"

Egyptian state prosecutors later declared, Habasch had died "accidentally" in a disinfectant for the hands. He got it confused with water and drank. The young Director, however, was not apparently the only prisoner who died in the past few months in the infamous prison.

"In cell block 4, which is intended for non-violent political prisoners, was the death of Schady Habash, already the third in ten months," reads a statement by the Cairo Institute for human rights studies. Such prisoner to leave the jail sometimes die consciously, so the critical of the government Institute. The prisoners were "without trial or proper procedure" in prison. The conditions in the prisons were "appalling". Among other things, would deny them aware of health care.

'd loose Sleep "in shifts"

How many people exactly in Egyptian prisons, is unknown. Most estimates of more than 100,000, including remand prisoners. The Egyptian justice system is bursting at the seams: The state prisons are overloaded to 160 percent, the local even to 300 percent. This leads to the fact that prisoners are often forced to bare concrete floors, close to sleep, sometimes even on top of each other. The facilities are dirty, at the same time, there is a lack of everything that could mitigate the impact of the often extreme Egyptian weather.

"The Egyptian prisons are mostly overcrowded, so that prisoners can't sometimes sleep at the same time, so you have to sleep in shifts," says Amr Magdi, a middle East expert at the Human rights organization Human Rights Watch (HRW). "There is not enough space that all can lie down."

"movement is a luxury,"

was An activist and author, who was himself imprisoned, describes the DW in the bad conditions and mistreatment in Egyptian prisons. "In the tiny cell, we were 70 people," says the author, wants to see for security reasons his name not be published. "We sat alternately on the ground, to sleep without. The Rest of us had to stand, but we couldn't move. Movement was a luxury."

Overcrowded cells have, however, been by no means the only Problem, the former prison inmate. The guards would have taken in dealing with the prisoners often have a lot of freedom out. Once he had experienced himself as more than a dozen children under the age of 16, girls and boys, during their detention, have been brought to time in an interrogation room. "I couldn't later recognize their scream, if it were a boy or a girl," said the activist.

Medical care is denied

Overcrowded conditions and abuse to put the prisoners especially, if, in addition, access to medical care is denied, what happens, apparently, again and again. Many of the prisoners with chronic diseases can not be expected, according to human rights learning, with an appropriate treatment. "It is very difficult for a detainee to ensure that he is brought to a hospital," says Amr Magdi from Human Right Watch. "And even if this happens, the Patient after the examination in the hospital immediately in a prison - and even then, if his condition requires a hospital stay."

HRW called on the Egyptian government, non-violent political prisoners. Also, the people advocating rights organization to release more prisoners such as those who sit so still in the prison, because they conditionally can pay poverty no fines. In connection with the Corona-pandemic, the conditions in the prisons health were highly risky.

"suppresses and still, according to"

Also in Sweden and Finland-based musician Ramy Essam was already in prison. The only way to process his prison experiences, was for him to write a Song. Title: "The prison does not kill". The Track should be part of a new campaign for the release of Schady Habasch. The texts were from Habasch self and smuggled out before his death from prison.

"The Song is a reminder for all of us, us for the release of political prisoners, artists, and others whose human rights are violated," said Essam DW. "It is the voice of hundreds of thousands, which, at the Moment in the same experience. It is a voice we need to hear. You is suppressed, and yet so loud."

author: Lewis Sanders (kk)

*The contribution of "Crowded, dirty, deadly: prisons in Egypt" is published by Deutsche Welle. Contact with the executives here.

Deutsche Welle
Date Of Update: 31 May 2020, 23:27

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