Human Rights Watch (HRW) condemned on Saturday an alleged attack on Borg Al-Arab prison in mid-November and called on the general prosecutor to investigate the case.
The statement explained that security forces allegedly stormed into cells after prisoners protested against their poor conditions inside the prison, explaining that the storming caused prisoners to suffer burns and fractures as they were attacked by ”batons, sticks, and teargas”.
The statement reported this in accordance to the families’ testimonies, noting that when the families visited their sons, they found them bruised, wearing ”torn clothes”, and “other signs of beatings and burns”.
HRW reported details for the case in accordance to the testimonies of families and lawyers.
The deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW Joe Stork said: “Instead of investigating complaints of abusive treatment and poor conditions, Egyptian authorities attacked and beat the prisoners. Egyptian authorities are responsible for the wellbeing of everyone in their custody and have a duty to investigate if prison or security officials cause them harm, and to hold those responsible accountable.”
The lawyers following the case said that prosecution investigators ignored referring prisoners to the Justice Ministry’s Forensic Medical Authority for medical examination to prove the alleged injuries. They also added that they were prevented from visiting prisoners who had been transferred to Borg Al-Arab prison hospital.
The Interior Ministry usually responds to these situations by denying that this abuse is systematic, explaining that these cases are “individual” and “do not represent the ministry as a whole”. Also, Egypt’s Foreign Affairs Ministry usually condemns reports by HRW.