Detainees in New Valley Prison in Egypt leaked a distress message, revealing several violations they are being subjected to, including being imprisoned in the desert, six hours away from the nearest village. They are also being subjected to severe physical and psychological torture, amid complete isolation from the outside world.
The detainees stated that “entering the prison begins with insults and severe beatings at the hands of security forces, due to which several detainees faint after being beating for several hours. The prisoners then are sent to disciplinary cells, which is a solitary confinement cell, while wearing only their underwear, and without having access to toilet or water.”
The letter added that “a prisoner may remain in solitary confinement for months, a year, or several years. He is given only one bottle of water, and a loaf of bread daily. Prisoners in disciplinary cells receives a toilet bag instead of being allowed to go to the toilet. Many detainees faint as a result of poor disciplinary conditions.”
The prisoner then is moved to a shared cell for 65 detainees in a 4 x 4 meters cell, without a bathroom. Prisoners are only allowed to wear one pullover”. There is no toiletries or hygiene, which leads to the spread of many diseases, bugs, and lice in the overcrowded cell. This stage lasts from two to six months.
The prisoner then is transferred to another 6 x 4 meters cell for 30 people, with a bathroom, but with the same conditions of the previous cell. It also lasts between two and six months.
After the prisoner is transferred to the final cell, his suffering begins, including poor nutrition, no exercising, medical negligence, and poor visits”. Prisoners leave the cells with their hands tied up and while being blindfolded.
This suffering also extends to the families who have to travel for 12 hours in order to be able to visit their detained sons, and another 12 hours to reach their homes. The families face a very bad treatment by the security’s intransigence and preventing them from seeing their detained family member.
Those who are allowed a visit see their detained family member from behind a wired fence for only seven minutes. The detainees are brought to their visiting families “in a humiliating manner to further torture them psychologically. The security officers may attack the visiting families as well.
Prisoners also complained that “body searching for women during visits is very humiliating,” as they have to take off all their clothes for inspection.” “Those who participate in this violation are the chief of investigations, Hussam al-Dasouki, the warden Suleiman Haidar, the national security officer Ahmed Yasser, a member of security forces called Shehab, and a national security informant called Adel.”
The prisoners emphasised that the Egyptian security aims to substitute the notorious Scorpion Prison with the New Valley Prison, after transferring 25 detainees from the Scorpion Prison and Badr 3 Prison to the New Valley Prison.
It should be noted that the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that “prisoners deprived of their liberty shall be treated with respect.”