The Ministry of Interior has rejected accusations that prisoners in the Wadi El-Natroun prison were subjected to violence in turn accusing “brotherhood terrorists” of possessing contraband.
The interior ministry issued a direct response Wednesday to calls from civil society organisations for an investigation into claims of torture and violence against prisoners, describing the claims “invalid”.
The ministry statement explained that a routine inspection of cells was taking place when the inspectors were prevented from entering cells 5 and 7. “Members of the terrorist [Muslim] Brotherhood organisation” had blocked the cell doors “from the inside” and assaulted the guards. They also directed “insults and curses” and threw water bottles at them, according to the ministry statement.
The ministry said the guards are to take legal action regarding the incident through the prosecutor general.
The guards “controlled the situation”, the ministry said, stressing that no excessive force was used. The inspections of the cells found 17 mobile telephones and 9 SIM cards “as well as spare civilian clothes and seven boilers”.
The guards also discovered one prisoner in possession of a telephone “that had received some international calls” including to a satellite channel “promoting lies” about the prison conditions.
Eleven NGOs, including the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information and Al-Nadeem Centre for the Rehabilitation of Torture Victims, called for an investigation after lawyers raised concerns of torture and violence inside the prison. Lawyers also said they were denied access to the prison and family visits had been cancelled.
The ministry denied the accusations and that prisoners were on hunger strike and warned the media about reporting on “rumours promoted by members of the [Muslim] Brotherhood terrorist organisation”. They added that these rumours have been proven false by a fact-finding committee and the National Council for Human Rights.