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Egypt’s prosecutor-general denies torture inside Abu Zaabal prison

Late in March, the National Council for Human Rights reported that Abu Zaabal prisoners had been badly beaten, as well as denied drinking water and sufficient food

Ahram Online , Sunday 12 Apr 2015
Hisham Barakat
Egypt's prosecutors Hisham Barakat (Photo: Al-Ahram)
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Egypt’s prosecutor-general Hisham Barakat on Saturday said that prisoners inside Cairo's Abu Zabaal prison had not been physically abused or tortured, following a damning report from a national human rights body on conditions inside the prison.

A statement issued by his office declared that a medical examination of prisoners at the prison had found that their bodies did not show any traces of torture or injury.

The statement added that, during the general prosecution’s inspections of Egyptian prisons, including that of Abu Zabaal, prisoners complained only of a lack of ventilation inside prison wards and cells. 

Barakat asked the interior ministry to follow up on the prisoners’ complaint regarding ventilation.

He also asked the media to be "careful" in what it publishes. 

Late in March, a committee from the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) inspected the Abu Zaabal prison, and reported that prisoners there had been badly beaten, as well as denied access to toilets, drinking water and sufficient food.

Following the visit, the NCHR sent a report to the general prosecution.

The NCHR inspected the Abu Zabaal prison after detained journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziyada filed an official complaint in which he alleged that he had been tortured at the prison. 

The interior ministry has repeatedly denied all torture allegations.

Egypt's constitution outlaws torture in all its forms, designating it as a crime that carries no statute of limitations.

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