Ten human rights groups strongly condemned the “torture and collective” punishment in Egypt’s prisons and demanded investigations on violations in Abu Za’abal prison, according to a joint statement released Tuesday.
The violations targeted political prisoners as a number of undersigned groups received reports on the torture and the degrading treatment of detainees in Liman II of the Abu Za’abal prison complex.
The undersigned organisations include the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, Center for Women Legal Aid and Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights.
According to the statement, on 19 March “masked formations of central security forces broke into the cells, attacked the prisoners with clubs and police dogs as well as used tear gas resulting in injuries and fainting among political prisoners”.
Fifteen prisoners were tortured in front of others for three hours, stripped from their clothes and transferred to solitary confinements, the statement said.
Among the prisoners mentioned is journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada who has been in detention for 450 days to protest his ill treatment and imprisonment. He is charged of illegal protesting, setting fire to the Faculty of Commerce building in Al-Azhar University and assaulting security officers.
The groups called on the National Council for Human Rights to visit the prison and investigate the condition of the tortured prisoners.
In February, three men were killed in the detention room of the Matariya Police Station. Family members of the deceased blamed the police force for their deaths as a result of torture inside the detention facility.