A New Report Reveals Human Rights Abuses in Egypt’s Al-Wadi-Al-Gadid Prison

In coincidence with the International Day for Human Rights, Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms (ACRF) issued a report entitled “The Exile .. a documentary report for the violations in (Egypt’s) Al-Wadi Al-Jadid Prison”.

The report states that the prison – located  in Kharga Oases desert, about 390 kilometers from Cairo, and 900 kilometers from Aexandria- was built during the era of late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, and was was designated for the political opposition.

Then the report refers to the violations committed against prisoners, starting from the moment of their transference in ‘deportations vehicles’ and their arrival “Tashrifa” (beating and assaulting prisoners and detainees the moment they arrive) , through the “New Comers Room” where they are kept for several days, leading up to lodging them inside cells in different wards of the prison, where there is a lack of ventilation or water fit for the human use.

Then, the report reviewed the prisoners’ rights that they are supposed  to enjoy inside the prison in accordance with local laws and international legislation, including feeding, medical care, and education, in addition to their right to contact with the outside world, through visits and messaging. The report also showed that prisoners’ rights are completely absent, as well as the violations which the detainees are suffering from in prison.

The report was based on field research, and 24 interviews.

The report also documented the strikes carried out by the prisoners as a reaction to the prison administration’s non-humanitarian treatment of the prisoners and their relatives (during visits).

The report also refers to the absence of any  judicial control – through the public prosecution – or even supervision from the prison sectors service in Al-Wadi Al-Jadid Prison, not to mention the absence of the National Council for Human Rights.

The report also included the discrimination faced by political prisoners compared to criminal prisoners.

The report concludes by providing a number of recommendations to the National Council for Human Rights, the Ministry of Justice, the Interior Ministry, and the Parliament.

In a previous report released by Human Rights Watch in September 2016, Joe Stark, the deputy Middle-East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said,” Egypt’s detention system is overflowing with critics of the government.”

The situation in Egypt’s prisons is disastrous as prisons suffer torture, ill-treatment, and medical negligence.

Since July 2013 when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a military coup against Mohamed Morsi- the country’s first democratically elected president and a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood member, “the Egyptian authorities have engaged in one of the widest arrest campaigns in the country’s modern history, targeting a broad spectrum of political opponents.”