Al-Sisi Claims there Are No Detainees in Egypt, Ignoring about 41,000 Opponents in Jails

During the seven-hour meeting with the editors-in-chiefs of state-owned newspapers, al-Sisi said that there are no detainees in Egypt, according to Daily News Egypt.

In the third and final part of the interview, al-Sisi issued with the editors topics related to rights and freedoms, religious discourse, corruption, gender rights, and others.

Regarding human rights al-Sisi claimed that “There aren’t any detainees in Egypt. But there are people who are imprisoned in certain trials and on blatant charges, such as terrorism.”

He also added that there will be a presidential pardon to release over 300 prisoners, some of whom were detained on protest charges, without giving further details.

It is noteworthy that al-Sisi regime has been heavily criticized by human rights organizations for the massive crackdown against human rights since the military coup in 2013 against the first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi.

The Egyptian authorities have increased arbitrary arrests of the political opponents who are against the military regime.

Many detainees have died as a result of torture and medical negligence according to reports documented by right groups.

Moreover, human rights activists and organizations criticized the Egyptian authorities for its policy in building more prisons.

Last June, the Egyptian authorities decided to build a new prison in Qaliubiya Governorate, north of Cairo, the third to be built this year and the eleventh since the military coup.

At an earlier time this year, the Arab Organization for Human Rights has released a report stating that the cost of the Gamasa prison construction was 750 million Egyptian pounds ($95.8 million). However, the Ministry of Interior does not declare  the expenses of prisons construction which probably cost billions of Egyptian pounds.

Throughout three years, Egypt has built 10 prisons that extend all over the country. Human rights groups have said that there are 40 prisons in Egypt, 382 detention places in police stations, as well as the secret prisons in the Central Security Camps (affiliated to the Interior Ministry) and inside the military headquarters (affiliated to the Defense Ministry). All these prisons and detention camps are used to hold prisoners in terrible conditions.

However, the Interior Ministry and the presidency usually deny these accusations and say they are committed to the Egyptian Constitution and law. The Egyptian government also says that the Prisons Sector treats all detainees according to the human rights laws and provides full health care, a claim denied by the human rights groups.

The Arab Organization for Human Rights said that the number of prisoners held in Egyptian jails and detention centers has exceeded 41,000 persons.