Egypt rights committee to visit prisons, police stations during first week of Ramadan

Menna Alaa El-Din , Sunday 5 Jun 2016

MP Anwar El-Sadat
Head of Egyptian Parliament's Human Rights Committee MP Anwar El-Sadat (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The Egyptian parliament's Human Rights Committee is set to inspect Cairo prisons and police stations on the first week of the holy month of Ramadan.

The head of the committee in Parliament, MP Anwar El-Sadat, told Ahram Online the visit comes as part of a plan by the committee to inspect human rights conditions inside prisons and detentions areas, with the inspection starting in Cairo and then reaching out to other governorates

Sadat added that inspection visit officials would be limited to members of the committee following a "notice" to the general prosecutor and interior ministry, and would not include the semi-official body National Council for Human Rights (NHCR) or any other organizations.

The plan would also include visits to nursing homes and orphanages, according to Sadat.

Speaking to Ahram Online, the committee's first deputy, MP Atef Makhaleef, said the planned visit- which includes Tora and Aqrab prisons in addition to Ain Shams, El-Marg, and El-Khalifa police stations- comes following received complaints of "forced disappearances" by citizens.

He added that the committee would allow visits to be postponed for security reasons, but would not allow a refusal.

MP Sadat said that a request would be sent to the defense ministry to allow it to visit military prisons.

"A request will also be filed to the Assistant Defence Minister for Legal and Constitutional Affairs Mamdouh Shaheen in order to visit military prisons," Makhaleef said.

Freedom of the Brave, a grassroots campaign calling for the release of all detained activists, has reported the "disappearance" of many activists.

A social media campaign was launched in October 2015 to inquire about the whereabouts of activist Mostafa Massouny, who has been missing since June 2015. The interior ministry has denied that Massouny was arrested "by the police or any affiliated security apparatuses."

The semi-official NCHR has filed reports to the interior ministry regarding hundreds of people suspected to have been the victims of forced disappearances perpetrated by the government. The ministry often responded to the reports, saying that some were awaiting trial, temporarily detained pending investigations, or currently at large.

Egypt's interior ministry has multiply refuted the allegations of forced disappearances, saying "whoever claims otherwise must provide evidence".


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