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Prison riot under control: Police official

Police halt protest at Egyptian prison in the Nile Delta from which reports have emerged regarding alleged mistreatment, says Reuters' Aswat Masriya

Ahram Online , Monday 2 Jun 2014
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Wadi Al-Natroun prison (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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A scene of chaos that erupted at Wadi Al-Natroun Prison in the Nile Delta governorate of Beheira has been contained by police, with "instigating elements" identified, the Reuters-affiliated Egyptian news website Aswat Masriya reported on Monday.

The website quoted a top security official as saying inmates imprisoned in "political cases" – a reference to association with the Muslim Brotherhood or those arrested for staging illegal demonstrations – had been protesting for two days after the reported death of a fellow inmate on Saturday.

So far, Ahram Online has been unable to confirm the death.

Reports of protests at the prison came out on Sunday via social media, with claims of police beating prisoners who are on hunger strikes and firing tear gas inside prison wards.

The claims are unverified, due to restricted access to the prison.

However, police officials have denied the allegations, with a statement from the interior ministry insisting that the prison operates according to modern standards and safeguards for human rights.

Brotherhood-affiliated websites said a mass hunger strike of political prisoners commenced this week to protest alleged mistreatment and torture.

Thousands of supporters of former Islamist president Mohamed Morsi and members of the Brotherhood have been arrested since Morsi's ouster in July 2013.

In March, a court convicted three police officers in the killing of 37 Egyptian detainees who were tear-gassed to death as they were being transported to a Cairo prison.

Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) visited Wadi Al-Natroun in March. A report about the visit is yet to be published.

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