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VIDEO: Foreign media figures, human rights groups hail inmates conditions in visit to Cairo’s Tora prison

Egypt’s Prisons Authority has been keen to organise similar visits to major prisons in a bid to drive people, especially foreigners, away from believing the negative rumours concerning prisons in the country

Amr Kandil , Tuesday 19 Jan 2021
Egypt
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Figures of a delegation made up of civil society organisations, human rights groups, and international media have hailed the authorities’ care for inmates inside Lyman Tora, in a visit to the major prison in the capital.

The visit was filmed and published by the Ministry of Interior on Monday.

Egypt’s Prisons Authority has been keen to organise similar visits to major prisons in a bid to drive people, especially foreigners, away from believing the negative rumours concerning prisons in the country.

“Without a doubt, what we have touched in these visits confirms that what is often promoted is not true,” said Samir Omar, director of the British Sky News office in Cairo.

“It confirms that the Egyptian authority is committed to the law and constitution in these prisons, which is good and should continue,” Omar added.

In the video, the ministry said Egyptian prisons witness continuous development and modernisation, while committing to modern penal policy methods in terms of rehabilitation.

Concerning health services, the ministry said they have developed prisons’ hospitals significantly, in light of the ministry’s adherence to all human rights standards.

“We have here 19 foreign institutions that meet with inmates to view their rights, and the medical and therapeutic care provided to them,” said Mohamed Imam, director of the State Information Service’s Foreign Correspondents Press Centre.

He added that the institutions also view “how and when treatment is provided to them, and whether types of medicine and human treatment are available.”

The delegation visited the hospital of the prison, which, according to the ministry, is equipped with the latest medical equipment and skilled human cadres.

It’s provided with an operating room, dialysis units, eye clinics, in addition to equipment for analyses and physiotherapy, the ministry added in the video.

The ministry noted that the delegation hailed the ministry for such efforts.

“Today we are seeing something completely different and we hope that all Egyptian hospitals outside the prisons are equipped with equipment like what is inside the prison’s hospital,” said Mohsen Awad, a member of Egypt’s National Council for Human Rights.

Tomonori Fujiyoshi, director of the NHK Japan News office in Cairo, said he was “impressed” with the sections inside the prison.

Foreign correspondents conducted interviews with the inmates in the areas designated for the visit, including the library, the kitchen, and the bakery.

The video showed one of the inmates hailing medical care, food service, and the regularity of visits, as well as exercise and books at the prison.

The visit also included literacy classes, which the ministry said are also used for inmates to perform their examinations.

During the visit, a part of the religious seminars that are held periodically for Muslim and Christian inmates was displayed, the ministry said.

The delegation also watched the “high-quality” handicrafts made by the inmates within the framework of professional training, the ministry said.

Renowned Al-Azhar scholar Ramadan Abdel-Moez said based on what he saw by himself “I say to the Ministry of Interior and the Prisons Authority, may God reward you well.”

Marian Guirgis of the Kuwaiti Annahar newspaper warned against “false allegations” about the situation in Egyptian prisons, saying “we need to see this reality that reflects many of the facts and positives.”

Abdel-Razek Tawfik, editor-in-chief of the state-owned Al-Gomhuria newspaper, hailed the prison’s methods to rehabilitate prisoners.

“I believe that the social, medical, cultural, and sports care we see [here] is a scientific and thoughtful act to change the life path of the person who violated the law, into an active, positive, and law abiding member of society,” Tawfik said.

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