The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI)
We got arrested on Tuesday, the 25th of January, there were hundreds of us, first they took us to the Central Security camp in Al Salam city, then on the night of the 27th of January I got into a deportation vehicle with some young men, the vehicle went to the Central Security camp in Hikestep, then to the security camp in Darasa, then to the Central Security camp in El-Gabal el-Ahmar, and then we finally got off.
(Testimony of G. A. about his detention in Central Security camps during January 2011)
It is a prison where no sun or air enters, barely enough air to breeze, sometimes in summer it stinks, it is designed so that whoever enters will not come back, for example, Hisham Abdel Zaher, a computer engineer, we are good friends now, the first time I opened his cell was after 8 years, the very first time a key was put into the keyhole was after 8 years.
(Major-General Ibrahim Abdul Ghaffar former prison warden of Alaqrab (Scorpion) prison in an interview with Sharif Amer of Al-Hayat TV).
I was being held in a Central Security Forces camp, called Kilo 10.5, on the Cairo-Alexandria desert road. I was beaten in the car from downtown to the camp, they seized all my personal belongings and my money. Although I told them that I am a journalist, they tried to force me to take pictures next to firearms and Molotov cocktails, when I refused, they assaulted me, they stripped off my clothes and took me to an illegal cell inside the security camp. The next day at dawn, I was summoned along with 4 others when the state security officers arrived. I was blindfolded and then they began to interrogate us and ask us about political movements, such as, The Revolutionary Socialists (RS), and a number of political activists. I stayed there for 38 days.
(Testimony of journalist Kareem El-Beheiri about the incident of his arrest and detention in the central security camp from 25 January 2014 till 2 March 2014).
This report was prepared by Ahmed Gamal Ziada , a researcher at ANHRI, and lawyer Gamal Eid. Some researchers and journalists who prefer to remain anonymous also took part in preparing it. The website laweg.com has provided valuable help and support in obtaining documents and verifying them.
Summary of the Report
On the 4th of June 2016, the Minister of Interior opened the “15th of May Central Prison” south of Cairo, to relieve overcrowding in Cairo’s police stations. The prison is equipped with a hall for the public prosecution for conducting investigations and another one for the judges for holding trials, as well as a breakroom for lawyers. This means that the prison was designed to be an all-in-one place of detention, interrogation, trial and imprisonment.
Although it is a central prison, it can hold up to four thousand prisoners, which is not usual in central prisons, which used to have a capacity of up to a few hundred prisoners. The number of detainees held in this prison, two months after it was opened is about 3,200 prisoners.
Before and after the opening of the 15th of May prison, news of protests taking place in new prisons which were unknown to citizens or even to lawyers were spreading. Prisons such as Gamasa prison, Kilo 10.5, al-Nahda prison, Qantara prison and others, as well as a lot of news about the huge number of prisoners, without declaring the true figure of the number of prisoners that requires such an obvious expansion in the construction of prisons.
When ANHRI began researching and looking for the number of new prisons and their locations, the first place to search in was naturally the Ministry of Interior’s website. Surprisingly the section of the prison authority has not been updated since 2008. Moreover, the list published on the website includes the names of 25 prison areas, without providing the names of all prisons in Egypt, old or new, and of course the was nothing about the number of prisoners.
ANHRI found out that the number of legal places of detention is more than (504), which fall into the following categories:
– The old prisons built before January 25 Revolution (43) prisons.
– The new prisons built after the revolution, whether the ones that receive prisoners, or the ones that are still under construction (19) prisons.
– The central prisons scattered all over the cities and governorates of Egypt, not including Cairo, (122) central prison.
– The various police stations and police departments in all the provinces and cities of Egypt (320) station and department.
In addition to hundreds of places of detention in police checkpoints or departments of criminal investigation or its affiliates, which by virtue of an old decision by the Minister of Interior back in 1969, became considered legal places of detention, and – of course – the illegal places of detention, such as, security camps and military prisons, which the state denies the use of such places for the detention of citizens, despite numerous testimonies by former detainees after they were released.
ANHRI believes that in addition to the absence of any evidence for a political will to reform or respect human rights and the rule of law, along with the lack of respect for the provisions of the constitution and the law, the irregularities and frequent violations of both of them by the Ministry of Interior, constitute the main reasons, whether for the rampant violations, or for the widespread rumors due to the absence of sharing information and law enforcement, as well as the prevailing impunity policy because the justice system, with its different wings, overlooks accountability for these abuses.
This report relies on several interviews conducted by ANHRI’s lawyers and researchers, both with former prisoners or defendants. It also relies on extensive research in the Official Gazette concerning decisions for establishing prisons, monitoring and following up the laws, legislations, and the various decisions related to prisons. In addition to the testimonies, statements, declarations and interviews of executive officials from the Ministry of Interior. Along with official fact-finding committee reports on the storming of the prisons, as well as reports from reliable human rights organizations.
The numbers and statistics in this report about the various places of detention, the different kinds of prisons and their places are all based on official statements and decisions.
We made a list of some questions that should be answered in this report:
– What are the types of prisons in Egypt? How many are they?
– How many prisons where there in Egypt before the January 25 Revolution, and how many prisons were built after the revolution?
-What is the difference between these prisons? Where are the main prisons in Egypt?
– What are the legal, illegal, and secret places of detention in Egypt?
-What are the laws and rules that regulate the work of prisons and that organize the lives and rights of the prisoners?
-What are the international legal standards concerning prisons and prisoners, enshrined in international agreements that are binding for Egypt?
– What are the common legal violations and irregularities in prisons?
Concerning the numbers of prisoners and the capacity of prisons, there were no official statements with the exact figures, either willfully or out of laziness, which led ANHRI to research, make calculations, and conduct interviews with some officials after promising to conceal their identity and protect them as sources, out of fear of putting them in danger. Thus, the figures provided by ANHRI about the number of prisoners are estimates which ANHRI sees as the most accurate and most credible, until the security bodies or the judiciary declare different numbers, and provide evidence to support their claims.
The preparation of this report took about 50 days of hard work by researchers and lawyers, besides those who wrote their names on the cover of this report, there are others who prefer to remain anonymous.
Introduction: Concerning the rise in the construction of prisons in Egypt.
Egypt has witnessed the construction of new prisons before and after January 25 Revolution, but the huge rise in the decisions of construction of new prisons was strongly felt after the ouster of former president Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, which explains the increase in the number of prisoners and detainees, whether those who have been handed down prison sentences, or those in pre-trial detention by the thousands, many of them for periods exceeding three years, without being released or convicted, such as a photojournalist Mahmoud Abu Zeid “Shawkan” and others who have been arrested during the events that followed the violent dispersal of Rabaa al-Adawiya and al-Nahda sit-ins.
The increase was not just in terms of the frequency of decisions to build more prisons, but it reached to the extent of tremendously expanding the capacity of prisons, is such a way that 2 prison complexes “Gamasa and Minya” could hold up to 15 thousand prisoners each, according to a statement by Major General “Mustafa Baz” Prison Authority Director at that time to Al-Watan newspaper on August 27, 2013.
The increase in the number of prisons, means an increase in the deprivation of liberty and personal safety for humans.
Yet a growing population does not necessarily lead to an increase in the number of prisoners. The increase of populations as a result of the passage of time, could lead to an evolution in penal systems, a rise in the adoption of fair trial standards, economic prosperity or a political evolution of some type limiting crime rate. An increase in the number of prisons and prisoners could also be a result of the increasing number of criminal offenses or political repression or the absence of fair trials, or all of these reasons.
The evolution of prisons in Egypt?
Since the time of the pharaohs Egypt had prisons. The first time the word “Leman” was used to rerer to an official prison was in the middle of the nineteenth century during the reign of Muhammad Ali Pasha, as when Article 201 issued by the Finance Office of Law was amended in 1844 regarding who is to be held in it from life imprisonment to the temporary prison sentences, it said “a killer and all offenders who are sentenced to a temporary period are to be sent to Leman Alexandria, but those sentenced to life imprisonment are to be sent to “Visa Ogly” prison for life”
Leman Alexandria was the most famous and most important prison in Egypt at that time, while “Visa Ogly” was a mountain in Sudan – which was part of Egypt back then – as well as habs-khanas (prisons) which were scattered throughout Egypt’s various regions.
After the publication of the first law – High order from Astana the capital of the Turkish caliphate – regulated prisons in the modern form in December 1878, the process of building a large number of prisons began and about 15 prisons were built in the period from 1884 to 1912:
(Assiut’s prison, Sohag’s prison, Leman Tora, Leman Abu Zaabal, Egypt’s prison, Alexandria’s prison, Tanta’s prison, Beni Suef’s prison, a new prison in Assiut, Qena’s prison, Cairo Appeals prison, Qanater prison, Damanhour’s prison and Minya’s prison).
In 1901, another law – high order – was issued which classified prisons into three types that are still known today (Lemans “penitentiaries”, public prisons and central prisons).
The types of prisons and the difference between them
Article 1 of Prisons Act No. 396 of 1956 tells us that there are four official types of prisons; Penitentiaries, general prisons, central prisons and special prisons, “in addition to a new type stated in Law 1901”. And since the rate of putting civilians on trial before military courts has increased, we add to them “military prisons”.
The difference between the types of prisons is determined by the category of the prisoners to be committed to such prisons, how they are to be treated and the conditions of their release.
The types of prisons are:
Are the kind of prisons where life prison sentences (whether it is a life or temporary rigorous sentence) are carried out against men. Penitentiaries (or as so-called Leman prisons) the word “Leman” comes from a Japanese word, which was then adopted by the Turks, which means a harbor or a port.
Some of the old examples such prisons are “Abu Zaabal Penitentiary and Tora Penitentiary”, whereas their new ones are “Borg Al-Arab Penitentiary, Gamsa Penitentiary and Al-Minya Penitentiary”.
Prison sentences handed down against men, and life or rigorous prison sentences against women are implemented in these prisons.
In addition to men carrying life or rigorous prison sentences who were transferred from penitentiaries for health reasons or for reaching the age of sixty or for having served half of the prison term.
The general prisons also include those who are sentenced to a period exceeding three months in prison, unless the remaining period of imprisonment is less than 3 months at the time the verdict was handed down, and if they haven’t been held in a general prison before.
Examples of general prison in ancient times are “Banha General Prison, Tanta Prison and Al-Qanater Prison” and in modern times; “Qantra General Prison, Gamasa Prison and Wadi al-Natroun 1 Prison”.
Central prisons contain those who are being held in pre-trial detention in separate places from other prisoners, as well as those who are sentenced to less than three months in prison.
Among the central prisons that were built in the past are; “Abo Qerfas Central Prison and Al-Mostakbal prison in Ismailia, whereas 15th of May and Al-Nahda prisons are examples of Egypt’s central prisons recently established.
Legally: most of the people in these prisons are either those who are held in pre-trial detention, or those who are serving sentences for finance-related verdicts.
However, in practice: many of pretrial detainees are in fact held in the general prisons instead of the central prisons; “either due to the overcrowding of prisons or due to the fact that the general prisons are located near places of investigation, which are the Public Prosecution”?
Special prisons are established by a presidential decree. Only certain categories of prisoners are taken to the Special Prisons “and that is not based on the type of the penalty”.
This type of prisons represents a flagrant violation of the general principle of equality and non-discrimination; for it gives the president the right to discriminate between detainees for who they are rather than for the rulings they receive.
Military prisons are originally affiliated with the Ministry of Defense, convicted military personnel are the only ones who should be sent to this type of prisons.
Yet by virtue of an article in the Egyptian Constitution that allows the trial of civilians before military tribunals in case they attack a military establishment “or its legal equivalents”, in which case, these will face a military trial and may end up in a military prison.
In addition to that, decisions to establish military prisons for the ‘Interior Ministry- based’ Central Security conscripts have been issued. Nevertheless, they don’t explicitly prohibit holding civilian prisoners therein.
Places of detention other than prisons:
These are the places of detention defined by the Minister of the Interior in the Resolution No. 5 of 1969, which are linked to the police stations, centers or departments as well as the Criminal Investigation Administrations and their sections wherein prisoners, detainees and those in custody can be held.
The difference between prisons and places of detention
A prison is a specified building that is established by law or upon a decision to include whoever his liberty is legally curbed “whether by court order, preventive decision or by arrest in the state of emergency.”
Even if somebody is held in prison in a legal way, the place of detention or the prison is legal. What is illegal is the process of detention.
While places of detention, such as prisons and police departments or special prisons, may be legal, but they may also not be designated to detain prisoners, even if their liberty are legally restricted, in case the Minster of Interior doesn’t pass any law or issue any decision. Examples of these places are the security camps and the National Security Detectives headquarters “State Security” as well as the secret prisons or any place that is not deemed to be dedicated to hold prisoners upon a legal decision.
The difference between prisons and the prison area
A prison is a separate building where prisoners are held depending on the its type, such as “Port Said Prison, Al-Fayoum Prison and Al-Hadra Prison”, whereas the prison area is a region where a number of different prisons are included together “Penitentiaries, General and Central”, such as “Tora Prison Area, Wadi Al-Natroun and Abo Zaabal” and sometimes, it includes special sections for women.
Where are the prisoners and detainees held in Egypt?
First: Legal Places of Detention
Law No. 396 of (1956) determines the different prisons where prisoners regardless of their kinds are held. Another resolution No. 5/1969 was issued in January 1969 considering current places of detention related to police centers, departments and stations or the general administrations of criminal investigation and their sections among the places wherein prisoners, detainees and whoever is deprived from their liberty are placed.
Thereby, since that time until July 2016, there have become about 504 legal places of detention that are known in Egypt. These places are divided into prisons and central prisons and the police departments and centers and in addition to hundreds of police stations and criminal investigation administrations and their sections, whose numbers and locations are unknown as they are not determined by ministerial decisions.
The following table represents all the police stations and centers in Egypt, as well as the old prisons “before January 25” and the new prisons “post- revolution”:
Most of these prisons were established by Resolution No. 113/1962. Resolutions concerning every new prison had respectively been issued then, starting from 1962 until 2010 (not including Cairo). They are as follows:
Number of Central Prisons
– Al-Bostan Police Department Prison (Ismailia).
– Al-Suez Police Department Prison.
– Ataqa Police Department Prison.
– Al-Arba’in Police Department Prison.
– Damietta 2nd Police Department Central Prison.
– Damietta Center Prison.
– Kafr Saa’d Center Prison.
– Farskur Center Prison.
– Kafr Al-Batikh Police Department Central Prison.
– Toukh Center Prison.
– Qalyub Center Prison.
– Shibin el-Qanater Center Prison.
– Al-Khanka Center Prison.
– Shubra Al-Khema 1st Police Department Central Prison.
– Banha Police Department Central Prison.
– Shubra Al-Khema 2nd Police Department Central Prison.
– Al-Mansoura Center Prison.
– Sinbillawain Center Prison.
– Sherbin Center Prison.
– Talkha Center Prison.
– Aga Center Prison.
– Dekerness Center Prison.
– Meet Ghamr Center Prison.
– Belqas Center Prison.
– Gamasa Police Department Central Prison.
– Al-Manzla Center Prison.
– Meet Salseel Police Department Central Prison.
– Shibin el-Koum Center Prison.
– Tala Center Prison.
– Al-Shohadaa Center Prison.
– Al-Bagour Center Prison.
– Quesna Center Prison.
– Ashmoun Center Prison.
– Menouf Center Prison.
– Berket Al-Sabaa’ Police Department Central Prison.
– Tanta Center Prison.
– Tanta City Prison (1st Police Station).
– Tanta City Prison (2nd Police Station).
– Al-Santa Center Prison.
– Zefta Center Prison.
– Qotour Police Department Central Prison.
– El-Mahalla Center Prison.
– El-Mahalla City Prison.
– Kafr el-Zayat Center Prison.
– Samanoud Center Prison.
– Basyoun Center Prison.
– El-Mahalla el-Koubra 2nd Police Department Central Prison.
– Kafr el-Sheikh Center Prison.
– Fouh Center Prison.
– al-Borollos Center Prison.
– Desouq Center Prison.
– Zagazig Center Prison.
– Zagazig City Prison.
– Abo Kibeer Center Prison.
– Hehya Center Prison.
– Kafr Saqr Center Prison.
– Minya al-Qamh Center Prison.
– Belbes Center Prison.
– Faqous Center Prison.
– Derb Negm Center Prison.
– Abo Hammad Center Prison.
– Al-Husseineyah Center Prison.
– Abo Omar Mansha’et Police Center Central Prison.
– 10th Of Ramadan 1st Police Department Central Prison.
– Koum Hamada Center Prison.
– Shabrakheit Center Prison.
– Al-Delengat Center Prison.
– Itay al-Baroud Center Prison.
– Abo Hummus Center Prison.
– Kafr el-Dawar Center Prison.
– Rosetta Center Prison.
– Al-Mahmoudeya Center Prison.
– Abo el-Matameer Center Prison.
– Al-Ayat Center Prison.
– Al-Saf Center Prison.
– Embaba Center Prison.
– Ousim Police Department Central Prison.
– Beni Suef Center Prison.
– Al-Wasta Center Prison.
– Beba Center Prison.
– Al-Fashn Center Prison.
– Senouras Center Prison.
– Etsa Center Prison.
– Absheway Center Prison.
– Minya Center Prison.
– Minya City Prison.
– Maghagha Center Prison.
– Bani Mazar Center Prison.
– Samallout Center Prison.
– Abo Querkas Center Prison.
– Malawy Center Prison.
– Matay Center Prison.
– Assiut Center Prison.
– Assiut City Prison.
– Dirout Center Prison.
– Manfalout Center Prison.
– Abnoub Center Prison.
– Al-Badary Center Prison.
– Sadfa Center Prison.
– Sohag City Prison.
– Tahta Center Prison.
– Guerga Center Prison.
– Balyana Center Prison.
– Akhmeem Center Prison.
– Al-Maragha Center Prison.
– Al-Mansha’a Center Prison.
– Tama Center Prison.
– Qena Center Prison.
– Nag Hammadi Center Prison.
– Deshna Center Prison.
– Qous Center Prison.
– Luxor Center Prison.
– Esna Center Prison.
– Abo Tesht Center Prison.
– Aswan Center Prison.
– Edfu Center Prison.
– Matrouh Police Department Prison.
– El Alamein Police Department Central Prison.
– Al- Karna Police Department Central Prison.
– Luxor Police Department Central Prison.
– Al-Kharga Police Department Central Prison.
– Al-Dakhla Police Department Central Prison.
122 Central Prisons
2- Police Stations & Police Departments (320)
The following is the full list of all police stations and departments where “detainees” can be held regardless of the reasons behind which their liberty is deprived. The list includes all the provinces of Egypt, under Resolution No. 5 of 1969:
Number of Police Stations or Departments
|Cairo||44||Qasr Al-Nil Police Station/ Abdeen Police Station/ Al-Sayyida Zainab Police Station/ Masr Al-Qadima (Old Cairo) Police Station/ Al-Maa’di Police Station/ Al-Nozha Police Station/ Masr Al-Gadida (Heliopolis) Police Station/ Al-Shorouq Police Station/ Al-Obour Police Station/ Badr City Police Station/ Ain Shams Police Station/ Al-Salam City Police Station/ Madinet Nasr (Nasr City) 1st Police Station/ New Cairo 1st Police Station/ New Cairo 2nd Police Station/ New Cairo 3rd Police Station/ Al-Zaher Police Station/ Al-Gamalyia Police Station/ Al-Khalifa Police Station/ Bab Al-Shearyia Police Station/ Al-Darb Al-Ahmar Police Station/ Al-Moski Police Station/ Mansha’t Naser Police Station/ Al-Moqattam Police Station/ Al-Hadayeq Police Station/ Al-Shorabyia Police Station/ Al-Zawyia Al-Hamra Police Station/ Al-Wayli Police Station/ Al-Marg Police Station/ Rod Al-Farg Police Station/ Shubra Police Station/ Al-Sahel Police Station/ Bolaq Police Station/ Al-Azbakyia Police Station/ Helwan Police Station/ Al-Tebein Police Station/ May 15 Police Station/ Al-Basatin Police Station/ Dar Al-Salam Police Station/ Tora Police Station/ Al-Mataryia Police Station/ Al-Zaitoun Police Station/ Al-Sheikh Zayed Police Station.|
|Alexandria||18||Al-Manshyia Police Station/ Sidi Gaber Police Station/ Bab Al-Sharq Police Station/ Al-Attaryeen Police Station/ Al-Labban Police Station/ Al-Gomrok Police Station/ Al-Dekhila Police Station/ Mina Al-Basl Police Station/ Al-Montazah 1st Police Station- Al-Raml 1st Police Station/ Al-Raml 2nd Police Station/ Mohrram Bek Police Station/ Karmouz Police Station/ New Borg Al-Arab Police Station/ Al-Amrayia Police Station/ Al-Amrayia 2nd Police Station/ Alexandria Port Police Station.|
|Giza||20||Al-Giza Police Station/ Al-Gize Police Center/ Bulaq Al-Dakrur Police Station/ Al-Haram Police Station/ Al-Wahat Police Station/ Al-Omranyia Police Sation/ Kerdasa Police Station/ Al-Hawamdyia Police Station/ Al-Badrashen Police Station/ Al-Ayyat Police Station/ Al-Saf Police Station/ Atfeeh Police Station/ Al-Agouza Police Station/ Dokki Police Station/ Imbaba Police Station/ Al-Waraq Police Station/ 6th of October Police Station/ 6th of October 2nd Police Station/ 6th of October 3rd Police Station.|
|Suez||5||Suez Police Station/ Attaqa Police Station/ Faysal Police Station/ Al-Ganayen Police Station/ Al-Arba’een Police Department|
|Damietta||7||New Damietta Police Station/ Al-Zarqa Police Station/ Damietta 1st Police Station/ Damietta 2nd Police Station/ Faraskour Police Center/ Ras Al-Bar Police Station/ Kafr Sa’ad Police Center|
|Daqahleya||22||Al-Mansoura 1st Police Station/ Al-Mansoura 2nd Police Station/ Gamsa Police Station/ Talkha Police Center/ Belqas Police Center/ Nabarouh Police Center/ Mahla Demna Police Center/ Mit Ghamr Police Station/ Sinbillawain Police Center/ Aga Police Center/ Temai Al-Amdid Police Center/ Zefta Center/ Mit Ghamr Center/ Dikirnis Police Center/ Sherbin Center/ Bani Abed Center/ Al-Manzalah Center/ Al-Mataryia Center/ Al-Gamalyia Center/ Mit Slsell Center/ Meniet Al-Nasr Center.|
|Al-Sharqyia||19||Al-Zagazig 1st Police Station/ Al-Zagazig 2ndPolice Station/ Al-Qarin Police Station/ Al-Qenyat Police Station/Al- Zagazig Police Center/ Abo Hammad Police Center/ Derb Negm Police Center/ Minya Al-Qamh/ Mashtoul al-Souq Center/ Al-Salhyia Center/ Faqous Police Station/ Faqous Police Center/ Husseinieh Center/ Kafr Saqr Center / Awlad Saqr Center/ Al-Salam Police Station/ 10th of Ramadan Police Station / 10th of Ramadan 2nd Police Station/ Bilbes Police Center|
|Qalyubia||14||Shubra al-Khema 1st Police Station/ Shubra al-Khema 2nd Police Station/ Qalioub Police Station/ Al-Khosos Police Station/ Al-Khanka Police Center/ Al-Qanater Center/ Qalioub Police Center/ Al-Obour Center/ Qaha Police Station/ Banha Police Station/ Toukh Police Center/ Shebin Al-Qanater Center/ Kafr Shoukr Police Center|
|Ismailia||7||Al-Ismailia 1st Police Station/ Al-Ismailia 2ndPolice Station/ Al-Ismailia 3rd Police Station/ Al-Tal Al-Kabeer Police Center/ Fayed Police Center/ East Al-Qantra Police Station/ West Al-Qantra Police Center|
|Aswan||6||Aswan Police Station/ Abo Sembel Police Station/ Nasr Al-Nuba Police Center/ Edfu Police Center/ Drau Police Center/ Kom Ombo Police Center|
|Assiut||13||Assiut 1st Police Station/ Assiut 2nd Police Station/ Abnoub Center/ Al-Fath Center/ Manfalout Center/ Quseya Center/ Dirout Center/ Assiut Center/ Abo Teeg Center/ Sadfa Center/ Ghanaim Center/ Sahel Selim Center/ Badari Center|
|Luxor||3||Luxor Police Station/ New Tayiba Police Station/ Al-Qarna Police Center|
|Al-Bahr Al-Ahmar (The Red Sea)||7||Hurghada 1st Police Station/ Hurghada 2ndPolice Station/ Ras Gharib Police Station/ Al-Qasir Police Station/ Marsa Aalam Police Station / Halayib and Shalateen Station/ Safaga Police Station|
|Beheira||17||Damnhour Police Station/ Damnhour Police Center/ Itai Al-Baroud Police Center/ Al-Delengat Center/ Hosh Issa Center / Mahmudiya Center/ Rahmaniyah Center/ Abu Matamir Center/ Kom Hamada Center / Shubra Khiet Center / Wadi Natrun Center/ Rashid Center / Badr Center / Kafr Al-Dawar/ West Nubaria Police Station/ Edku Center/ Abo Hummus Center|
|Beni Suef||6||Ahnasyia Center/ Samasta Center/ Naser Center/ Bya Center/ Al-Wasti Center/ Beni Suef police Station|
|South Sinai||8||Ras Sedr Police Station/ Tour Sinai (Mount Sinai)/ Abo Rudeis Police Station/ Sharm el-Shiekh Police Station/ Dahab Police Station/ Nuweiba’ Police Station/ Taba Police Station/ Saint Catherine Police Station|
|North Sinai||11||Al-Hasna Police Station/ Al-Arish 1st Police Station/ Al-Arish 2nd Police Station/ Al-Arish 3rd Police Station/ Al-Arish 4th Police Station/ Bir al-Abed Police Station / Rommaneh Police Station/ Al-Nakhl Police Station/ Al-Qaseema Police Station/ Rafah Police Station / Sheikh Zuweid Police Station/ al-Tafreea/ al-Manasra|
|Port Said||10||Al-Zohor Police Station/ Al-Sharq Police Station/ South Port Said Police Station/ Al-Arab Police Station/ Al-Manakh Police Station/ Al-Dawahi Police Station/ Port Fouad Police Station/ Port Fouad 2nd Police Station/ al-Manasra Police Station|
|Gharbia||11||Tanta 1st Police Station/ Tanta 2nd Police Station/ Kafr Al-Zayat Police Center/ Bassioun Police Center/ al-Santa Police Center/ Tanta Police Center/ Al-Mahla al-Kobra 1st Police Station/ Al-Mahla al-Kobra 2nd Police Station/ Al-Mahla Police Center/ Smonod Center/ Qtor Police Center|
|Faiyum||6||Al-Faiyum Police Station/ Asta Police Center/ Tamyia Police Center/ Aishway Police Center/ Yusef al-Sadiq Police Center/ Senoras Police Center|
|Qena||12||Qena Police Station/ Mashna Police Station/ Qeft Police Station/ Naqada Police Station/ Al-Waqf Police Station/ Luxor Police Station/ Quos Esna Police Station/ Arment Police Station/ Tiba Police Station/ Naga’ Hammadi Police Station / Abu Tesht Police Station /Farshout Police Station|
|Kafr el-Sheikh||12||Kafr el-Sheikh Police Station/ Kafr Al-Shiekh Police Center/ Qaleen Center/ Al-Riyadh Center/ Bella Center / Hamoul Center / Borollos Center / Desouk Center / Desouk Police Station / Fouh Center / Metobas Center / Sidi Salem Center|
|Matrouh||3||Al-Hamam Police Station/ Al-Salloum Police Station/ Siwa Police Station|
|Menoufia||12||Shebin Al-Qoum Police Station/ Shebin al-Qoum Police Center/ Tala Police Center/ Quesna Center / Bagour Center/ Berket al-Saba’/ Menouf Police Station/ Sers Al-Lyan/ Menouf Center/ Al-Shouhada Center/ Ashmoun Center/ Al-Sadat Center|
|Minya||11||Al-Minya Police Station/ Malawi Police Station/ Minya Center/ Samalout Center/ Abo Qerfas Center/ Malawy Center/ Deramous Center/ Bani Mazar Center/ Mattay Center/ Maghagha Center/ Al-Edwa Center|
|Al-Wadi Al-Gadid||4||Al-Kharga Police Station/ Al-Farafra Police Center/ Al-Dakhla Police Center / Paris Police Center|
|Sohag||12||Dar Al-Salam Police Center/ Al-Kawthar Police Station/ Al-Balyana/ Saqulta Police Center/ Sohag 1st Police Station/ Sohag 2nd Police Station/ Al-Manshaet Police Station/ Akhmim Police Station/ Maragha Police Center/ Gerga Police Station/ Tahta Police Station/ Guhayna Police Center|
|Total||320 Police Stations & Police Departments|
2- The main map of Egypt’s prisons before January 25 Revolution in 2011 (43 Prisons)
The number of the main Egyptian prisons before January 25 Revolution was 43 prisons across 18 provinces as follows:
|1- Cairo||6||Tora Prison Area:- Tora Penitentiary (Leman Tora) , Al-Mazra’a (Farm) Prison, Tora Istiqbal, Tora Mahkoum Tora Prison 992 Maximum-Security (Al-Aqrab)- Prison of Appeal||6|
|2- Alexandria||3||Borg El-Arab Prisons Area:- (Borg El-Arab Penitentiary and Borg El-Arab General Prison)- Al-Hadra Prison|
|3- Beheira||7||Wadi Al-Natroun Prisons Area:- (Leman 430, Leman 440, Sahrawy Prison 2)- Damanhour Men Prison- Damanhour Women Prison- South Tahrir Prison
– “Badr al-Beheira Center” Prisoners Work Camp Prison
|4- Qalyubia||6||Abu Zaabal Prisons Area:- (Abu Zaabal Penitentiary Prison and Abu Zaabal Industrial Prison)- Al-Marg Prison- Banha General Prison- Qanater Men Prison
– Qanater Women Prison
|5- Giza||1||– Al-Qatta Prison|
|6- Daqahleya||2||– Al-Mansoura General Prison- Al-Mansoura Women Prison|
|7- Al-Sharqyia||1||– Al-Zagazig Prison|
|8- Port Said||2||– Port Said Prison- Women Prison|
|9- Faiyum||1||– Faiuom Prison|
|10- Assiut||2||– Assiut General Prison- Assiut Women Prison|
|11- Qena||1||– Qena Prison|
|12- Sohag||1||– Sohag General Prison|
|13- Minya||3||– Minya General Prison- Abu Qerkas Central Prison- Women Prison|
|14- Gharbia||2||– Tanta General Prison- Women Prison|
|15- Menoufia||2||Shibin el-Koum PrisonWomen Prison|
|16- Al-Wadi Al-Gadid||1||– Al-Wadi Al-Gadid Prison|
|17- Ismailia||1||– Al-Mostakbal Prison|
|18- North Sinai||1||– Al-Arish Prison|
Women prisons or prisons including sections for women:
There are nine prisons; Al-Qanater Prison, Damanhour Prison, Port Said Prison, Al-Mansoura Prison, Shebin Al-Kom Prison, Tanta Prison, Al-Minya General Prison, Assiut Prison and Abo Qerkas Central Prison.
A brief summary of some main prisons in Egypt before the Revolution:
Tora Prison Area:
Tora Prison Area was began with the construction of Tora Penitentiaries Prison, which was established in 1896. Then in 1928, Mustafa el-Nahhas, the then-Prime Minister and Minister of Interior, issued a decree turning it to a prisons area, another five prisons had been built. “And after the January 25 Revolution, these prisons have increased in numbers”.
Part of this prisons area is located at Kournish El Nil Street in Tora Al-Balad district nearby Tora El-Balad metro station, and the other part is situated in the same region at the Autostrade (highway). Every prison in Tora Prison Area is isolated by a fence or a wall, but they are all in two regions:
The first region is the Kournish El Nil, which involves (Tora Penitentiaries and Al-Mahkoum Prison)
The second region is the Autostrade, which includes (Al-Mazraa Prison, Al-Istiqbal Prison and the Tora Prison 992 Max-Security (Al-Aqrab).
It is located at al-Qanater El Khayereya city in Qalyubia Governorate, 25 km from Cairo.
It is one of the prisons that have a special section for women and another one for men, it was established in 1957. It has a Hospital; the first floor is for clinics and the second floor is dedicated to the patients.
Al-Qanater Prison is renowned for being from the oldest women prisons in Egypt. It includes the following:
– Al-Irad Wing (Wing of Proceeds): (It is the ward where all-newly arrived women prisoners) are held for a period of 11 days. They are then to be referred to wards of investigations. This ward doesn’t host families.
– Al-Ourdy Wing: After the 11-day period elapsed, women inmates are to be moved to the Investigations Wing, they are transferred to Al-Ourdy Wing. Inside this building, there is a ward for pregnant women and mothers, which is situated in one dormitory separated from other women inmates.
– The Investigations Wing: Is a one-floor building that includes wings no. 9 and 2, in addition to two Royal rooms (wherein women are wearing their white clothes of “investigations” until a verdict is issued with regard to their cases, whether receiving a release order or a prison sentence). The Investigations Wings have all kinds of crimes’ perpetrators as well as female political prisoners.
– Al-A’dab (Morality) Wing: Is located next to the Hospital building.
– Al-Ahkam (Verdicts) Wing: Is a two story building. The first one includes wards no. 6 and 7 dedicated only to rulings of theft, murder and altercations. The second floor has the wards where people handed down drug-related rulings are held.
There is also a special area designated for exercising, a small piece of unpaved land located between all the wards.
Borg El-Arab Prisons Area:
One of the largest prisons in Egypt. It includes Borg Al-Arab Penitentiary Prison and Borg Al-Arab General Prison.
Borg El Arab Prison was built in 2004. At that time, it wasn’t as famous as Tora, Abu Zaabal and Wadi Al-Natroun Prisons, however it became known after the ousted president Mohamed Morsi was transferred there.
It is located in a desert region, west of Alexandria city, and considered as one of the heavily-guarded prisons especially that it is one of the most important prisons receiving political detainees besides those convicted of criminal acts.
Abu Zaabal Prisons Area:
Abu Zaabal Prison Complex is located in Abu Zaabal area in Qaliubiya, 30 km away from Cairo. It includes one of the most ancient prisons in Egypt “Abu Zaabal Penitentiary Prison 1896”, the official name for the famous Abu Zaabal Prison. It consists of (Abu Zaabal Penitentiaries and Abu Zaabal Industrial Prison “Maximum-Security”).
Abu Zaabal Prison is one of the prisons renowned for receiving political detainees, especially the islamist in recent years, and the leftist in the seventies and eighties.
Wadi Al-Natroun Prisons Area:
Wadi Al-Natroun Prisons Area is located in Beheira governorate, and contains 3 main prisons “and after January 25 Revolution, another prison was added to it”. They are:
(Wadi Al-Natroun Prison 430- Wadi Al-Natroun Prison 440- Prison 2 (Desert Road). Each of these three prisons has its warden and its own criminal detectives. Prison 2 (Desert Road) is situated at about 8 kilometers away from the other prisons.
Located in a desert region at Dimo Center, 20 km away from the City of Faiyum on the road connecting Faiyum with Beni Suef.
Faiyum Prison was opened in May 1995. It is considered as a large-size prison, as it includes 12 wings, each of which has 18 jail cells. Each cell has from 25 to 30 detainees at the present, which constitutes an overcrowding because it can only accommodate 15 prisoners, as asserted by a former detainee. The prison has one disciplinary ward that contains 15 solitary confinement jail cells “disciplinary”.
Damanhour Prison (Al-Abaa’dyia)
Located in Beheira on the Agricultural Road, about 165 km from Cairo. It was established in 1908 on nearly 10 acres of land.
Damanhour Prison contains 10 wards (for men) + 7 wards (for women), each of which has 18 jail cells.
It is reported about Damanhour Women Prison: The sister of Mahienour al-Massry, one of Damanhour Women Prison’s former political inmates, said that the prison cannot accommodate more than 400 women detainees, however, the number of inmates held there reaches 850 prisoners, which is twice the number the prison can hold.
A general prison, located at the outskirts of the Nile Delta near al-Qatta village which belongs to Embaba Center in Giza, 45 km from Cairo.
It contains four wards accommodating nearly 4,000 prisoners. Given the huge space of the prison, an area of up to 500 meters separates each ward from the other.
Al-Wadi Al-Gadid Prison
One of the oldest and most famous prisons in Egypt,and located in the city of Al-Kharga, nearby Al-Sherka city at Al-Wadi Al-Jadid (The New Valley), 630 kilometers from Cairo. It was built in 1956 during the reign of the late president Gamal Abdel Nasser, and was re-opened after it was renovated in February 1995 under ousted president Hosni Mubarak.
Being in the heart of the desert, Al-Wadi Al-Jadid Prison is known for its heat-related deaths as a result of severe heat exhaustion. During 2015, about 11 prisoners died due to over exposure to extreme heat.
Prison of Appeal
One of the oldest and most famous prisons in Egypt’s modern era, it was founded in 1901.
Since 2007, there had been many suggestions to move it away from Cairo’s “Darb Al-Saa’da” region, however it remains in its location from the beginning of the last century. Despite being one of the “transitional” prisons – where prisoners are held immediately after they are handed down their rulings until they are moved to the main prisons, it has become a place for many prisoners due to the overcrowding of prisons on one hand and the disregard for the law on the other hand.
Assiut General Prison
Founded in 1911, and located 400 kilometers south of Cairo, overlooking the Ibrahimiyah Canal. The prison consists of two buildings which hold about three thousand inmates, and has an execution ward. There is no information however about Assiut General Prison’s capacity.
Located east of Mansoura District in Dakahlia. It was established in the thirties, and renowned for its frequent strikes and protests due to the high number of its political detainees.
Tanta General Prison
Situated in Alexandria Street, from Alexandria Sqaure, Tanta, Gharbia.
It is one of the oldest Egyptian prisons, it was built in 1901 on an area of 15 acres “about 63 thousand meters” in “Kafret Al-Segn” area, it is surrounded by families’ homes on all four sides.
It has two wings (1) and (2) and each wing has 3 wards. Being in a residential area and due to its old buildings, demands have been raised calling for it to be moved outside the city.
Located in el-Khanka, Qalyubiya. It was built on 100 acres “about 420 thousand square meters”.
Al-Marg Prison has 3 wards, the biggest of which is “Al-Tagroba” (experiment) Ward along with the Criminals Ward and the Public Funds Ward. Al-Marg Prison was among the prisons that were stormed during the January 25 Revolution. Nearly more than 500 prisoners had escaped. There was also another failed attempt to break into it in February 2011. Al-Marg Prison was renovated to be an exemplary prison. Nevertheless, there are ongoing complaints related to ill-treatment, especially from the political detainees.
Port Said Prison
Located next to the New Commercial Market, East Port Said. It has a special section for women, and was built on an area of five acres, “about 21 thousand meters”. Its fences are about 12 meters height and contains 150 wards and wings, including special wards for the most dangerous prisoners and others for felonies and public cases besides wings for both men and women.
Several demands have been made by the city residents to move it away from the buildings, and the Ministry of Interior has announced its approval under the condition that an adequate space of land is to be provided, which was not available till this moment.
Located in Moharram Bek district in Alexandria downtwon. The estimated number of its inmates is nearly 1,800 prisoners.
It has three wards, three floors each, the first two floors contain twenty small cells (2 m × 3 m), while the third floor has larger (3 m × 9 m) cells with stone walls.
Located at Al-Houmidat village in Qena, it was established in 1898 in the era of Mustafa Fahmi Pasha, the then-Minister of Interior. Qena Prison is one of the worst Egyptian prisons, it has no toilets inside the cells, and prisoners are not allowed to relieve themselves except on a strict schedule. Qena Prison holds about 1400 detainees.
4- New prisons following January 25 Revolution (19 prisons)
1- Wadi Al-Natroun General Prison 1
Resolution No. 1816 of 2011 to establish the General Prison no. (1) in Wadi al-Natroun. “A general prison shall be established at Wadi al-Natroun Prisons Area and to be named “The General Prison No. (1) , on 10/27/2011”.
It is the fourth prison in Wadi al-Natroun Prisons Area. According to the decision of its establishment as a general prison, it can include a special section for women, but so far it is only limited to men.
2- Qantara General Prison
“The Governor of Ismailia decided to extend the implementation of the acreage allocation decision No. 457/2013 of allocating15 acres of the city of Qantara Sharq for the establishment of a general prison”.
The prison is located on an area of 15 acres “ about 63 thousand square meters” on the Arish-Qantara Sharq Road. The decision to establish it was due to the massive overcrowding in Mostakbal Prison in Ismailia.
3- Beni Suef Central Prison
Resolution No. 951 of 2013 issued on 22/ 5/ 2013to establish a central prison at Beni Suef Police Department in Beni Suef Security Directorate, covering the area of Beni Suef Police Station and its surrounding villages and cities near Upper Egypt’s railway.
4- Gamasa Penitentiary +
5- Gamasa General Prison (Max-Security)
Both of the new prisons are located in the new area in Gamasa, according to:
“Resolution No. 1750 of 2013 was issued providing for establishing “Gamasa Prison in the circle of Daqahleya Security Directorate”
to hold detainees who are sentenced to rigorous and life prison.
The decision added: “A general prison is to be established nearby the Daqahleya Security Directorate, named a super-max security prison in Gamasa, where people mentioned in Article 3 of Prisons Regulation Law 396/1956 along with its amendments, are referred to. This decision shall be published in the Egyptian newspapers and put into effect the next day. Resolution date: 21/8/2013”.
The prisons area is located next to the entrance of Gamsa city and was established on an area of 42 thousand square meters, according to what was published about it. It directly overlooks the International Coastal Highway near al-Mansoura Road. The prison was built to accommodate prisoners who received rigorous or life prison sentences as well as dangerous prisoners. Therefore, it was constructed from armored concrete walls, more than 50 cm thick, in addition to other brick wall buildings. It was established at a cost of 845 million EGP and can accommodate about 15,000 male and female prisoners, as it has a prison for women.
6- AL-Minya Penitentiary +
7- Max-Security Minya Prison
Both of the new prisons are located in the new area in Minya, according to:
“Resolution No. 873/2014 was handed down to establish al-Minya Penitentiary (Leman) in the circle of al-Minya Security Directorate. It holds the men who are sentenced to rigorous or life prison.
The decision also includes the establishment of a general prison under the name “Al-Minya Super-Max Security Prison” affiliated to al-Minya Security Directorate, wherein men would serve their rigorous and life prison terms.”
Al-Minya Prisons Area in al-Minya New City is similar to Gamsa Prisons Complex, but with a larger land area “about 30 acres” equivalent to “126 thousand square meters”. It was also constructed in the same pattern of Tora Prisons Area, as it is composed of heavily-guarded prisons and penitentiaries besides execution chambers and administrative offices. with the same new design and construction conditions, among which is that the thickness of the wall should be 50 cm of poured cement concrete, in addition to the electronic gates and the electric circuits to control the wards and cells’ doors alongside the modern closed-circuit television cameras (CCTV). This prison also has special sections for women.
8- Central Prison in Banha 2nd Police Department
“Resolution No. 2396 of 2014 to establish and operate the Central Prison in Banha 2nd Police Department:
A prison shall be established at Banha 2nd police station in Qalyubia Security Directorate under the jurisdiction of second Banha Police Department.”
It is located in the Bus Stop Complex Street from the Al-Ryah El-Tawfeqy all the way to Corniche Al-Nil passing through Atrib dsitrcts and Faculty of Commerce Street. It was built to keep pace with the urban expansion within the circuit of Banha 2nd Police Department.
9- Tora Max-Security Prison (2)
” Resolution No. 4073 of 2014 issued by the Interior Minister under the name “Tora Max-Security Prison (2)”, wherein people mentioned in Article 3 of Prisons Regulation Law No. 396/1956 are placed”.
The prison holds those who were handed down prison sentences, in addition to those carrying life or rigorous prison sentences and were transferred from the penitentiaries for health reasons or for reaching the age of sixty or serving half of the prison term period. It also includes those who had served three years in prison during which they managed to maintain a good conduct record. This prison also has A special section for women.
10- Giza Central Prison
“Presidential decree No. 525 of 2015 approving the re-allocation of 103.22 acres, equivalent to 433610 m2 of a land privately owned by the state, based on the attached map and coordinates in favor of the Ministry of the Interior.at no cost to be used for building a central prison with its annexe as well as a camp for Giza Security Forces, a training center and a department for the traffic authority in Giza”.
The resolution, which was issued based on some reports made by the National Center for Planning State Land Uses and after the approval of the Cabinet, does not clarify the precise size of the prison among the total area of the camp situated in Egypt Assiut Western Road. Rather, it made the “civil” prison as part of a military zone, which in turn would increase the hardship endured by the prisoners and their families, a matter which constitutes a severe abuse and an injustice against them.
11- Al-Nahda Prison
“Resolution No. 1029 of 2015 to establish a central prison at Al-Nahda Police Station affiliated with Cairo Security Directorate:
A central prison shall be founded at Cairo Security Directorate’s al-Nahda Police Department whose circuit would have a jurisdiction over it”.
The prison was built in a record-breaking time, as it started to receive prisoners on an area of 12 thousand square meters and located in Al-Salam district in Cairo. Many young people who are defending for the islands of Tiran and Sanafir have been referred to this prison.
12- 15th of May Prison
“Resolution No. 1030 of 2015 to establish a central prison at 15th of May Police Station affiliated with Cairo Security Directorate:
A central prison shall be founded at Cairo Security Directorate’s 15th of May Police Department whose circuit would have a jurisdiction over it”.
The opening of this prison has caused a big celebratory fuss among some rights activists close to the security bodies. It was built in eight months on area of 12 acres. For the first time in prisons, some halls were dedicated to public prosecutors, judicial bodies and lawyers, which makes it possible to renew the imprisonment of detainees without having to transfer them for each hearing. However, there is a need of an official decision to be issued by the Minister of Justice for each investigation or hearing that is to be convened in a prison instead of a court.
13-The Central Prison in the Security Forces Administration.. “Kilo 10.5” Prison
“Resolution No. 2345/ 2015 to establish a central prison named the Central Prison of the Giza Security Forces’ General Administration. The Giza Security Sector circuit is the sector that would have a jurisdiction over the prison”
One of the most famous illegal places of detention since the nineties, until it has been officially turned into a prison. It is also known for its ill-treatment of detainees before and even after transforming it to an official prison. In addition to the complaints about overcrowding and cases of abuse that were filed by lawyers.
14- Al-Khosos Prison
“Resolution No. 1104 of 2015 to establish and operate the Central Prison in Al-Khosos Police Department: in Qalyubia Security Directorate:
Sentences delivered against people who are mentioned in Article 4 of Prisons Act No.396 of 1956 are implemented in this prison”.
One of the biggest Egyptian police stations, located in one of the largest cities in Qaliubiya, given its wide industrial activity. The population of al-Khosos city exceeds half the population of the whole province, it is estimated at “2.5 million people”.
“Resolution No. 3455 of 2015 allocating a plot of land (10 acres) at al-Beheira Province’s Edko Center, West Ring Road to use it in building a central prison”.
Anger had sparked in Edko and al-Beheira in the wake of this decision, to the extent that proxies were collected and a lawsuit was filed demanding the annulment of the Prime Minister’s decision of allocating 42 thousand square meters land. It was earlier decided that this land would be used to build a city for artisans within the city’s population scale. The case is still underway in courts.
16- Baghdad Village Prison
“Resolution No. 1717 of 2016 was issued by the Prime Minster allocating a piece of a state-owned land with an area of 2872.80 m2 in the village of Baghdad in Badr Center and City, Beheira Governorate, at no cost, to Beheira Security Directorate to establish a central prison thereon.
A plot of land owned by the state with an area 2872.80 m 2, located in Beheira Governorate’s Badr city, shall be allocated free of charge to the Beheira Security Directorate, in order to use it in building a central prison”.
“Resolution No. 1923/2016 to establish a central prison in Qalyubia Security Directorate, named al-Khanka Security Forces Camp’s Central Prison and would fall under the aforementioned directorate’s jurisdiction.
A central prison in Qalyubia Security Directorate, named al-Khanka Security Forces Camp’s Central Prison is to be established and would fall under the aforementioned directorate’s jurisdiction.
It is a central prison situated as part of an Interior Ministry-affiliated security forces’ camp. It can accommodate about 300 prisoners and was already built and opened in 2016.
“Resolution No. 2628 of 2016 to establish a central prison in Qalyubia Security Directorate, under the name al-Obour Central Prison in Obour Industrial Area, and would be within the aforementioned directorate’s jurisdiction.
Like any other central prison that the Interior Ministry is expanding its establishment, there has been a lot of opposition by the industrial city’s residents to this resolution, particularly since there is some information concealed by the Ministry of Interior- but is managed to be obtained by some newspapers having close relationship with it- indicating that its size would be enormous that could accommodate more than 10,000 prisoners.
19- South Beni Suef Prison
“Resolution No. 2879/2016 to establish a central prison in Beni Suef Security Directorate, named South Beni Suef Central Prison.
and it would fall under the aforementioned directorate’s jurisdiction.
South Beni Suef Prison is the last prison established before making this report, as the decision was issued in early July 2016.
Secret prisons and illegal places of detention
This applies to all places of detention which are not mentioned in the provisions of the law or the terms of ministerial decrees, where detainees are being hidden, such as the Central Security Camps and military prisons. ANHRI has interviewed many of those who were held is some of them, among the many names that were mentioned:
– Central Security Forces Camp in Darasa, Cairo
– The Security Camp in Hikestep, Cairo
– Al-Gabal Al-Ahmar (Red Mountain) Central Security Forces Camp, Cairo
– Security Forces Camp in Aswan
– Central Security Forces Camp in Zagazig
– Central Security Forces Camp Kilo 10.5 “before it became a prison”
– Central Security Forces Camp in Cairo-Ismailia Road
– Central Security Forces Camp in Assiut
– Central Security Forces Camp in Tora
– National Security Apparatus’ headquarters (formerly known as State Security Investigation Services), such as Cairo’s Nasr City and Alexandria’s Faraana State Security Investigations (SSI).
– Military prisons, such as, Al Azouly Military Prison
Examples of legal violations against prisoners and detainees
ANHRI publishes the articles of the laws being violated. It does not raise, document or publish here allegations that are related to torture or ill-treatment. Other human rights organizations are doing so and are sparking controversy with regard to this topic. ANHRI rather attempts to shed some light on some of the explicit texts and provisions that are being infringed upon in a clear way.
No. of violated article
The text of the law or constitutional article
Perpetrator of the violation
|During the arrest or detention:Article 54 of the Egyptian Constitution||Every person whose freedom is restricted shall be immediately notified of the reasons therefore; shall be informed of his/her rights in writing; shall be immediately enabled to contact his/her relatives and lawyer; and shall be brought before the investigation authority within twenty four (24) hours as of the time of restricting his/her freedom.||The article is not being respected or implemented; as citizens get arrested or detained without being able to contact a family member and are not informed of the accusations leveled against them. Rather, their cell phones are seized||Ministry of Interior|
|Interrogation without access to a lawyerArticle 54 of the Egyptian Constitution||In all events, it is not permissible to present an accused for trial in crimes that may be punishable by imprisonment unless a lawyer is present by virtue of a power of attorney from the accused or by secondment by the court.”||When appearing before the Prosecution, detainees are often interrogated without the presence of their lawyers, despite the fact that the charges pressed against them are punishable by imprisonment||The Public Prosecution|
|Prolonged Pre-Trial Detention in Violation of the Law:Article 54 of the Egyptian ConstitutionArticle 9 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which was ratified by Egypt||Article 54:“The law shall regulate preventive detention, its duration and causes”Article 9: Anyone arrested or detained on a criminal charge shall be brought promptly before a judge or other officer authorized by law to exercise judicial power and shall be entitled to trial within a reasonable time or to release. It shall not be the general rule that persons awaiting trial shall be detained in custody.||The maximum period of pre-trial detention (2years) should not be exceeded in any way except by the Court of Cassation or the Criminal Court. However, the pre-trial detention of hundreds of people continues to be extended for more than two years, even prior to the referral order. Examples of those people are the photojournalist Mahmoud Shawkan and the suspects in the dispersal of Raba’a Sit-in case.||The Public Prosecution|
|Detention in illegal and unhealthy places:
Article 55 of the Egyptian Constitution
|“All those who are apprehended, detained or have their freedom restricted shall be
treated in a way that preserves their dignity. They may not be tortured, terrorized, or
coerced. They may not be physically or mentally harmed, or arrested and confined in
designated locations that are appropriate according to humanitarian and health
|In many cases, detention took place in illegal places such as the security forces camps.In other cases overcrowding resulted in the death of dozens.||Ministry of Interior|
|Pre-trial Detainee being held in a prison in violation of the law:Article 14 of Law No. 106/2015||Article 14: Pretrial detainees shall to be held in places separated from the other prisoners’||Those in pretrial detention are sometimes held in general prisons mingling with the convicted prisoners, like Hisham Jaafar, who is being held on remand at Al-Aqrab Prison||Ministry of Interior|
|Depriving the prisoner of telephone calls:Article 38 of Law No. 106/2015||Every convicted person has the right to communication and telephone call access for a fee||This article is completely being wasted which constitutes an infringement of the law. On the other hand, profiteering is allowed for security personnel as a result of receiving a large sums of money from prisoners in order to let them use their own cell phones||Ministry of Interior|
|Solitary confinement without a penalty, or for a prolonged period of time incompatible with the one stated in the law:Article 43 of Law No. 106/2015||Sanctions that may be imposed on the prisoner include… solitary confinement for a period not exceeding 15 days.||Solitary confinement penalty has escalated without any case of infraction. Also, the period of solitary confinement do exceed 30 days, as in the case of human rights lawyer Malek Adly||Ministry of Interior|
|Denial of cell furnishing or the discrimination among prisoners:Article 14 of Law No. 106/2015||Pretrial detainees should be allowed to reside in a furnished cell in return for an amount of money determined by the Deputy Assistant Minister for the Prison Authority, at least 15 Egyptian pounds per day.||Some pre-trial detainees are experiencing discrimination, as they are deprived from enjoying this right unlike other detainees||Ministry of Interior|
|Denying Health Care:Article 33 bis of Law No. 106/2015||Article 33 bis: The governmental and university medical facilities are committed to treat prisoners referred to them from their prison in order to receive treatment||Many prisoners are not transferred to hospitals, or in some cases they are returned back to prison before receiving treatment or recovering, such as in case of journalist Hisham Jaafar||Ministry of Interior, Doctors Syndicate, Ministry of Health|
|Refraining from punishing the official who detains a person in an illegal place:Article 91 bis of Law No. 396/1956||Every public official, who held or ordered to hold whoever is deprived from his liberty in prisons or places other than those stated in Article 1 and 1 (bis) of this law, shall be punished by imprisonment.||It has become widely practiced to detain citizens in security forces camps or in military prisons for various periods of time without sanctions||Ministry of Interior, and the Public Prosecution when it fails to investigate complaints regarding this matter.|
|Not applying the legal visiting duration:Minister of Interior’s decree No. 3320/2014, to amend Article 60 of the Prisons Regulation||Prisoners sentenced to no more than three months and persons in pretrial detention are entitled to a weekly family visit. Only the prosecution or the investigating judge may ban visits to those in pretrial detention. The duration of special and ordinary visits became 60 minutes.||Many of the family visits only last for a few minutes, sometimes less than 10 minutes.||Ministry of Interior|
|The detention of minors with adults:Article 112 of Law No. 126/2008Article 10 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights||Article 112: “Children may not be detained, placed in custody, or imprisoned with adults in one place, in a manner which takes into account the classification of children by age, sex and type of crime”;“and any public official who detains, places in custody or imprisons a child with one or more adults in one place should be sentenced to a minimum of three months in jail and a fine of no less than 1000 Egyptian pounds (US$166)”.Article 10: “Juvenile offenders shall be segregated from adults and be accorded treatment appropriate to their age and legal status.”||Many children or juvenile are being detained in police stations or the adults’ places of detention. Such as the 14-year-old child Essam who was detained in Al-Raml Police Department in Alexandria without penalty||Ministry of Interior, The Public Prosecution|
Prisons capacity, the number of prisoners in Egypt “Political and Criminal”:
Overcrowding in prisons and police stations:
It is an old and familiar phenomenon, which the Ministry of Interior had suffered from, not only according to reports by human rights organizations or dissidents, but also by state-affiliated official institutions.
The number of prisoners in Egypt’s main prisons in 1986 was estimated at “34793” in addition to thousands of detainees in police stations and other places of detention, which represents an increase by 70% of their carrying capacity. According to the National Center for Social and Criminological Research (NSCR)
– In 1990, the number of prisoners in Egypt reached “31890” prisoners, with 62% above the prison capacity.
– According to a report by an organization close to the government, the number of prisoners in 2012 was about “70,000” which is a reasonable estimate given that nearly “22,000” prisoners who have escaped from 11 prisons during the January 25 Revolution were recaptured.
– Major General Mostafa Baz, the Director of the Prisons Authority, declared that the number of prisoners in Egypt in 2016 is estimated at “80,000”  not including the detainees held in police stations and centers. May 2016
– The number of prisoners in Egypt by mid-August 2016 was around 106,000 prisoners, “including 60,000 political prisoners.”
A. G. who works at the Prisons Authority said: “Abo Zaabal, Faiyum, Gamasa, al-Qanater, Minya, Wadi al-Natroun, Borg al-Arab and Tora prisons are just holding 70,000 prisoners, while the other prisons are holding about another 20,000 prisoners. In addition to 16,000 detainees held in Egypt’s various police departments and centers – a total of 320 police departments and centers – by an average of 50 detainees per police station. Moreover, there are other detainees who are kept in the central prisons, 122 prisons. These figures are the most modest estimates  in a country whose population is more than 90 million. Although the number of criminal cases is higher than that of the political cases, yet the political cases are usually collective cases in which the number of defendants may amount to hundreds, such as the defendants in cases like Tiran & Sanafir, the dispersal of Rabaa, Al-Fath Mosuque incidents, the cabinet, and others. While on the other hand it is very rare to find collective criminal cases.
Egyptian prisons have only seen more political prisoners than criminal ones during the period of sectarian violence from 1991 – 1995 and after 3 July, 2013.
Statistics and figures about prisons and prisoners:
The number of Egypt’s main prisons before the January 25 Revolution = 43The number of women prisons before January 25 Revolution = 9The number of new prisons after January 25 Revolution = 19, divided into:
1- The number of prisons established upon governmental resolutions during the rule of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) or the military junta = 1
2- The number of prisons established upon governmental resolutions during the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood = 2
3- The number of prisons established upon governmental resolutions during the rule of Adly Mansour and al-Sisi = 16
The number of central prisons in Egypt = 122The number of police stations & police departments = 320The number of women prisons or those that have sections for women after January 25 Revolution = 4The number of prisons where death sentences can be carried out = 13The number of prisoners in Egypt “criminal and political” = around 106,000 prisonersThe number of political prisoners in Egypt = around 60,000 prisoners
ConclusionStability could be achieved through repression or through justice and rule of law, the latter is the long lasting and safer option for the progress of societies.ANHRI sees that new prisons in Egypt came unfortunately, not as a result of the increase in population, but rather due to a policy of random arrests, unfair trials and unjust laws passed after July 3, 2013, such as, the anti-protest law and the decision to increase pre-trial detention periods, as well as the widespread impunity policies.The increase in the number of prisons in such a steady way was not met by improvements in the condition of prisoners, there are complaints and protests on a day-to-day basis from abuse and neglect of medical and health care, as well as complaints regarding the rising phenomenon of enforced disappearance.These decisions to expand in building new prisons, in addition to the increase the Interior Ministry’s budget to exceed nine billion Egyptian pounds without supervision or accountability over how it is being spent, in light of the unprecedented economic crisis, demonstrates the repressive approach of the Egyptian state and its philosophy which is clearly based on the use of the stick and security solutions; as the message behind the expansion in the construction of new prisons in most of Egypt’s cities, is that there will be more detainees because of their opposition to the current regime, at a time when there is a set back in building hospitals, schools and public libraries, while human rights defenders, journalists, politicians and activists are bing imprisoned.ANHRI believes that talking about legal reform, “important as it might be”, before talking about the having the political will to uphold justice, the rule of law, reform the security and judicial system, is like plowing the sea!There is no alternative for the political regime in Egypt except admitting that the problems and crises are caused by the absence of law and lack of accountability policy, before it is too late.
A video titled “اعترافات اللواء ابراهيم عبد الغفار مأمور سجن العقرب السابق” (Confessions of Major-General Ibrahim Abdul Ghaffar former prison warden of Alaqrab prison) posted on 12 December 2015, last view 8 August 2016. Article 204 of The Egyptian Constitution of 2014 (No civilian shall face trial before the Military Court, except for crimes that constitute a direct assault against military facilities or camps of the Armed Forces, or their equivalents, against military zones or border zones determined as military zones, against the Armed Forces’ equipment, vehicles, weapons, ammunition, documents, military secrets, or its public funds, or against military factories; crimes pertaining to military service; or crimes that constitute a direct assault against the officers or personnel of the Armed Forces by reason of performing their duties.) Vetogate published on 17 September, 2013. Last visit on 26 July, 2016 http://www.vetogate.com/588081 The close to the Ministry of Interior; Al-Bawabh News website, on 15 June, 2016. Last visit 1 August, 2016 National Criminal magazine, folder 25, the second and third issues, July & November 1992, p.7 see the above mentioned source. Youm7 Newspaper, on 21 June, 2012 A TV interview with former Prisons Authority Director with TV host Wael el-Ebrashy on 26 May, 2016. Last visit 5 August, 2016. Interview with A. G. who works at the Prison Authority by a lawyer from ANHRI on 18 August, 2016