Egyptian detainees in the Badr prison complex have been able to leak a letter out describing the abusive conditions within the prison. The letter calls on national and international human rights organisations to immediately intervene to save them, from “the hell of a slow death that the state has maintained for years, one that is pushing prisoners to suicide.”
The prisoners, from the complex’s third section, have complained about “extreme intransigence of the administration of Badr 3 prison over allowing families to visit their detained relatives, which has continued for more than 7 years.”
Other abuses include depriving prisoners of the chance of exercise, of providing food that would not feed a small child, and detainees’ “degraded” health situation.
In their letter, prisoners describe incidents such as the decision of detainee, Hussam Abu Shorouq, to hang himself, following a prolonged period of hunger strike.
Another detainee, the authors of the letter explain, who they name as ‘Taha’, suffered a heart attack after a particularly harsh invention by a “strike force” of prisoner officers. Taha was taken seriously ill following the incident, yet “nothing is known about him”.
Another detainee, “Awad Naaman, cut an artery in his hand, and was transferred to Badr Hospital by prison authorities.”
Yet another detainee, Muhammad Turk Abu Yara made an apparent suicide attempt following the earthquake that hit southern Turkey and northern Syria on 6 February. Abu Yara asked the prison administration for information on his family residing in Turkey, which they refused to provide, after which he attempted suicide. Again, no information has been provided about the detainee’s since.
The letter’s authors explain that such examples are only as a small fraction of the number of suicide attempts made by detainees, and that conditions in the prison are worsening daily.
Amongst the UN’s basic principles is that “all prisoners shall be treated with the respect due to their inherent dignity and value as human beings.”