A pregnant woman was allegedly subject to beating until miscarriage on the same day a delegation of rights lawyers paid a visit to a new prison, praising the new facility and recommending opening new prisons to decrease crowdedness.
Suzan Salah, a four-month-pregnant woman, went to Damanhour police station on Sunday to file a report of theft, when policemen, refusing to file the report, assaulted her with beatings that led her to miscarry upon arriving to hospital, according to her sister.
The sister recounted that the story started when Salah’s purse was stolen and she went to the relatives of the thief, threatening to file a report at the police station. She was told that they know a policeman inside and that she can do nothing about the theft.
Mohamed Abdel Aziz, a lawyer at Al-Haqanya rights organisation who attended the prosecution investigations with Salah, said that she was taken to the hospital and put in chains there, where she underwent surgery for the miscarried foetus after being beaten at the police station.
Abdel Aziz told Daily News Egypt that after receiving threats in order to drop charges against a police officer and a policeman, Suzan gave up accusing the policemen Monday before the Damanhour prosecution.
The lawyer said she was threatened to be accused of theft herself if she did not drop the charges.
On Sunday, a delegation of human rights lawyers, including the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) head and member of the state-affiliated National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Hafez Abu Seada, visited the 15 May Prison, a newly established prison in southern Cairo with a capacity of 4,000 inmates, upon an invitation from the Ministry of Interior.
The delegation commended the “modern facility and good organisation”, demanding the building of similar prisons in all governorates to ease the crowdedness in prisons, according to a statement from the EOHR.
According to the EOHR, 3,020 pre-trial detainees are being held in the prison. Abu Saeda said that the new prison is important as it has a special detention facility for pre-trial detention, which will decrease crowdedness in police stations.
Earlier this month, a delegation from the NCHR visited Al-Marg Prison, citing no violations to “rights standards” in the prison.
The NCHR conducted several visits to evaluate the conditions of detention in prisons, such as Abu Za’abal, Tora, Qanater, Al-Aqrab, Tanta and Wadi El-Natrun prisons, since 2013.
In the visit to Abu Za’bal in March, the council’s delegation cited evidence of prisoners being beaten and their being in a state of panic and severe fear. They said they were indirectly threatened by the prison’s administration not to reveal to the NCHR what they had endured.