In a continuing trend of fatalities within Egyptian prisons due to alleged abuses, Engineer Jumaa Hashhash was confirmed dead in his Tora Prison cell mere days following his arrest. Prior to his arrest, Hashhash was a retired agricultural engineer. His untimely death, occurring before any formal charges could be presented, has fueled suspicions of torture.
The incident has sparked urgent calls for a comprehensive investigation and an immediate halt to the mistreatment of detainees. It also emphasizes the critical need for proper healthcare for all incarcerated individuals.
Hashhash’s death is the second such incident in Egyptian prisons this September, bringing the total number of prison deaths since the start of the year to 26. These deaths are commonly attributed to medical neglect, substandard living conditions, torture, or natural causes in deplorable incarceration settings.
Political detainees in Egypt frequently face a range of charges, including ‘disseminating false information,’ ‘inciting violence and terrorism,’ and ‘jeopardizing national security.’ These charges have led to the imprisonment of a broad spectrum of individuals, from activists and lawyers to journalists and everyday citizens. Many have expressed their dissent on various social media platforms.
Egyptian detention facilities are experiencing a concerning uptick in the number of deaths. Moreover, the Egyptian authorities have not permitted Red Cross inspections, leaving these facilities largely unmonitored except by a public prosecution office that has been criticized for its lack of action on torture allegations.
It’s important to note that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights mandates the humane treatment of all prisoners, underscoring the universal need for respect and dignity.