News ID: 92209
Publish Date : 09 July 2021 - 21:39

CAIRO (Dispatches) – More than 200 medical professionals have signed a petition urging U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to pressure Egypt into improving conditions at its prisons following a steep rise in inmate deaths.
Backed by the Freedom Initiative, an independent human rights group with a focus on political prisoners in the Middle East and North Africa, the petition asks Secretary Blinken to press Egypt on overcrowding and “medical neglect” in its prisons that “led to the deaths of at least 100 individuals in 2020”.
“Human rights organizations have decried the inhumane conditions present in detention facilities across Egypt, citing torture and abuse (including sexual abuse); lack of access to necessary medicine, treatment, or care; inadequate facilities that do not allow proper light or air circulation; and extreme overcrowding,” the petition reads.
“This situation is particularly appalling given the extreme degradation in the rule of law in Egypt and the overwhelming number of cases of arbitrary detention or violations of due process,” it continues.
Torture is commonplace in Egyptian prisons, and many confessions extracted under torture end up being used as the main basis for prosecution.
Death sentences are often handed down following mass trials lasting just days.
Egypt has come under increased criticism in recent months over a drastic increase in state-sanctioned killings. In 2020, the number of executions tripled from the year before.

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