Alexandria's administrative court overruled Prime Minister Sherif Ismail's decision to allocate a piece of land in Beheira governorate to the interior ministry for the building of a prison.
The court's ruling came after a lawsuit was filed by 75 Beheira citizens against the PM's 2015 decision to award 10 feddans of state-owned land located on the El-Gezira saltern in Edco village to the interior ministry for free to build the prison.
The court said that the constitution stipulates that the country's natural resources are owned by the people and that it does not grant any authority – whether legislative or executive – the power to do away with them.
It added that the PM's decision was a serious violation of the constitution and the law and a waste of mineral wealth, as it would destroy the saltern.
In September, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) NGO released a study stating that Egypt has an estimated total of 500 prisons and detention facilities.
The NGO also said that as of August 2016, Egypt has an estimated 106,000 prisoners, including 60,000 "political prisoners."