Egypt's interior ministry sends medical mission to Tora Prison

Ahram Online , Tuesday 15 Dec 2015

The convoy will examine prisoners from Tuesday until Thursday

File Photo: Egyptian army soldiers guard Tora prison, where Egypt's deposed autocrat Hosni Mubarak has been held, in Cairo, Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013 (AP)

Egypt's interior minister Magdy Abdel Ghaffar agreed on Tuesday to send a medical mission to Tora Prison in southeast Cairo to examine prisoners, MENA reported.

The mission will consist of 13 doctors of different specialties who will examine all prisoners from Tuesday until Thursday, giving them necessary treatment for any diagnosed illness.

The mission will also examine detainees in east Cairo police stations in districts of Ain Shams, Mataryia, and Marg.

These efforts by the interior ministry come amid criticism by activists and human rights groups of the deteriorating conditions inside the complex.

In January of this year, Human Rights Watch deplored the "life-threatening" conditions in Egyptian prisons, saying deaths of a number of inmates as a result of torture or physical abuse have been independently documented.

The report issued by the organisation also recorded deaths due to “overcrowded cells” and “lack of adequate medical care for serious ailments.”

The last inspection visit to the scorpion prison by the semi-governmental National Human Rights Council took place in August.

Among the most common violations reported by the council were overcrowded rooms, medical negligence, and inadequate meals. 

Earlier this week, families of members inside the scorpion prison staged a protest in front of the Journalists’ Syndicate to shed light on the deteriorating conditions of the prison. 

Tora Prison was established in 1928 in an attempt to ease overcrowding at Abu Zaabal Prison.

The complex, located in the southwest area of Helwan governorate, consists of Tora Agricultural Prison, Tora Liman, Tora Istiqbal (reception), Tora El-Mahkoum, and Tora Supermax prison also known as scorpion prison.

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