Inhuman conditions in Egyptian prisons, which include medical negligence, the arbitrary use of solitary confinement, and other forms of abuse, are causing a steady rise in prison deaths.
The latest victim is detainee Mahmoud Abd al-Shafi al-Didamoni, 42-years-old, who has died in a cell at Zagazig Police Station, in the Sharqia Governorate.
Al-Didamouni was arrested in 2021, and has been held in the Zagazig station since then.
Didamouni worked as a blacksmith in the village of Bani Amer, in the centre of the same governorate. He suffered from cancer, though he was not provided with timely or sufficient medical care whilst he was detained.
As a result of the conditions of his detention, his health deteriorated. He was then transferred from the police station to Zagazig General Hospital, where he died.
Al-Didamouni’s is the second such death connected with the police station this year. In late January Egyptian citizen Sameh Tolba died in his cell, after a period of medical neglect at the hands of the station’s authorities.
Even as prisoner deaths rise, the Egyptian authorities have continued to deny the Red Cross permission to inspect prisons, detention centres, and police stations.
Amongst the United Nation’s “Mandela Principles” is that “(a)ll prisoners shall be treated with respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.”