Egypt: Due to negligence, prisoner dies in police station despite ending 2 years on remand

An Egyptian prisoner has died in Zagazig Police Station due to the bad conditions of his detention and lack of adequate medical care.

A detainee has died in Egypt’s  Zagazig Police Station after deterioration of his health due to medical negligence. The detainee was reportedly kept in custody for more two months after he had completed a two-year term on remand.

The detainee, Sameh Tolba Saleh Al-Zeq, has died in the Zagazig Police Station due to medical negligence, reported Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights, adding that was kept in custody for two months after he had completed his two-year term on remand.

Al-Shehab Center for Human Rights said that the late detainee, Sameh Tolba Saleh, 53, had worked as a refrigeration and air conditioning technician in Zagazig.

The human rights center confirmed that he died due to negligence that led to deterioration of his health conditions at the Zagazig Police Station.

Also, the Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) reported that Saleh had already completed his two-year period on remand, the maximum amount of time prisoners can be held in pretrial detention according to Egyptian law.

Saleh had a heart condition which deteriorated whilst he was in detention.

Sameh Tolba Saleh is the first detainee to die in detention in Egypt since the start of the new year, 2023.

Mona Seif, sister of activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, tweeted, saying, “Another prisoner died in custody due to medical negligence and detention conditions. The added layer to the nightmare: he had finished his sentence of two years and was still unlawfully detained .. he should have been out!”.

From July 2022 until now, the Committee for Justice has recorded that ten detainees have died in detention centres across Egypt.

Through its platform Justice Watch Archive (the first and largest platform for documented violations inside detention facilities in Egypt), CFJ documented 1163 deaths inside detention facilities and prisons in Egypt since 2013.

In 2021, CFJ documented 62 deaths inside detention facilities and prisons in Egypt through its detailed report.

Moreover, for the first quarter 2022, CFJ also documented 5 deaths inside detention facilities and prisons in Egypt in another report.

In mid-November, two prisoners at Badr Prison died within 24 hours of one another. Magdy Al-Shabrawi died from kidney failure exacerbated by the conditions of his detention and the lack of appropriate medical care.

Prisoners have died after going on hunger strike to protest their detention, including Alaa Al-Salami who died in November after authorities did not provide him with adequate medical care.

Since 2013, 1,163 people have died in detention centres, and 62 throughout 2021, according to the CPJ.

There are some 65,000 political prisoners in Egypt, at least 26,000 of whom are held on pre-trial detention.

They are systematically tortured and denied medical care, according to human rights groups. Meaningful and transparent investigations rarely follow their deaths.

Over the weekend two Egyptian TikTokers were arrested and ordered into pre-trial detention after shooting a parody of a prison visit.

Basma Hegazi and Mohamed Hosam were accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terror group.

Amnesty International has said that indefinite pre-trial detention is used as a punitive measure against political opponents and human rights defenders.