Egypt: Amid rising abuses in current prisons, interior ministry to operate 3 new ones

Egypt’s Ministry of Interior says it will start trial operations at 3 new prisons even as the existing prisons continue to be sites of flagrant abuses

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior announced Sunday the imminent start of trial operations at three new prisons, officially defined as “correction and rehabilitation centers”, even as the current centers continue to be the sites of flagrant abuses.

The ministry touts the “pioneering” centers as humane alternatives to its overflowing prisons, but conditions in centers that have already opened, such as the much-publicized Wadi al-Natrun and Badr, remain dreadful. The Egyptian Network for Human Rights documented the deaths of three detainees in Egyptian prisons, two of them in Wadi al-Natrun, over the past two days.

The ministry says that foreign lawmakers, diplomatic representatives, human rights organizations, and Egyptian and international media will be invited to tour the complexes.

US rights report

It is to be mentioned that the US State Department on Monday released the 2022 Country Report on Human Rights Practices for Egypt.

The report shows that the Egyptian government continues to carry out significant human rights abuses with impunity.

The report cites state-committed arbitrary killings, enforced disappearances, torture, harsh and life-threatening prison conditions, arbitrary arrest and detention, transnational repression, and serious restrictions on free expression and media, among other abuses.

“The government failed to consistently punish or prosecute officials who committed abuses, whether in the security services or elsewhere in government, including for corruption,” it adds.

“In most cases, the government did not comprehensively investigate allegations of human rights abuses, including most incidents of violence by security forces, contributing to an environment of impunity.”