HRW urges Egypt to investigate alleged abuses at Borg al-Arab Prison

Sunday 25-12-2016 11:21 AM

Tora prison - Reuters

CAIRO, Dec 25 (Aswat Masriya) – International watchdog Human Rights Watch called on Egypt’s prosecutor general to investigate alleged abuses against prisoners at Borg al-Arab Prison in Alexandria, in a report on Saturday. 

The report stated that Egyptian security forces stormed into prison cells attacking and injuring hundreds of political prisoners at Borg al-Arab Prison in mid-November. According to the report, the alleged attacks came after prisoners protested "poor conditions and humiliating treatment."

“Instead of investigating complaints of abusive treatment and poor conditions, Egyptian authorities attacked and beat the prisoners,” said Joe Stork, deputy Middle East and North Africa director at HRW.

“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 to account,” he added.

HRW said that, according to testimonies of families and lawyers of prisoners, the inmates sustained burns and fractures after they were attacked with "batons, sticks, teargas, and pepper spray." 

The report claimed that following the alleged attacks, prison authorities transferred at least 250 inmates, including some who were injured, to three other prisons far from Alexandria. HRW said the transfer is considered by inmates and their families as a punishment.

Lawyers said that prosecutors rejected or ignored requests from inmates to be examined by the Justice Ministry’s Forensic Medical Authority. 

Egypt's interior ministry hasn't released any statements on the events. However, the ministry has repeatedly referred to allegations of police misconduct as "individual cases". 

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