According to our documentation, Tora Maximum Security II Prison is overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and short of potable water and hygiene tools. prisoners struggle to find decent food and suffer from a systematic shortage of health care facilities and a widespread denial of medical services, especially for political detainees.
Background on the Tora Maximum Security II Prison:
In 2014, the Minister of Interior issued the decision No. 4073/2014 of establishing the Tora Maximum Security II Prison in Cairo, which is a general prison as stated in Law No. 396/1956 “the law of Organization of Prisons”. This prison is a part of the Tora Prison Complex. which consists of seven prisons: Liman Tora, Tora Convicted (Mahkom), Tora Reception (Istiqbal), Tora Investigations (Tahqiq), Tora Farm (Mazraet), Tora Maximum Security 992 (known as Scorpion or al-Aqrab) and Tora Maximum Security II.
Law No. 396/1956 specifies the types of prisons in Egypt as follows: penitentiaries, general prisons, central prisons, special prisons, and any other facilities established by virtue of a decree issued by the Minister of Interior.
Although Maximum-Security prisons are based mainly on the principle of almost complete isolation of detainees who are “extremely dangerous”, the Egyptian authorities don’t use Tora Maximum Security II Prison to imprison
those who are high-risk only but also to imprison the opponents, whether they are political activists or human rights defenders including Mr. Abdulfattah.
Cruel and Inhuman Detention Conditions in Tora Maximum Security II Prison:
According to EFHR documentation, Tora Maximum Security II Prison is overcrowded, poorly ventilated, and short of potable water and hygiene tools. Even if the authorities strive to stave off international critiques, the fact is that prisoners struggle to find decent food and suffer from a systematic shortage of health care facilities and a widespread denial of medical services, especially for political detainees.
- Denial of medical care:
During the last four years, the prison witnessed at least four deaths due to medical negligence, among them a prisoner serving a 5-year sentence, suffering from Down’s syndrome, speech problems and tuberculosis, however, he was transferred to the hospital only after his health deteriorated to the point that he was vomiting blood so he died once his transfer.
The prison pharmacy offers only painkillers regardless of the diagnosis. Regarding diabetics Prisoners, the administration provides insulin for some of them but is very intransigent with some other diabetics – especially detainees pending cases of political violence.
- Psychological and physical torture:
Many prisoners, upon entering the prison, are subjected to torture in what is called “the welcoming” The blindfolded prisoners are forced to take off all their outer clothing and shoes and wear the prison uniform in the existence of the officers, and then they are ordered to crawl on the ground with their barefoot for approximately 50 meters while the policemen hit them with hands and feet.
In addition, any prisoner who objects to the decisions of the administration or just argues with a prison staff member is subjected to physical torture and held in solitary confinement.
- Poor Conditions:
The Tora Maximum Security II has a Lack of hygiene to the extent of suffering from the spread of insects in their cells. Also, the quality of the water is very bad and caused a large number of detainees kidney and urinary tract diseases. In addition to the lack of hot water in the bathrooms and the prison administration prevents the entry of heaters and boilers.
The prison administration prevents a large proportion of detainees from any visits, whether families or lawyers. Even if the family/lawyer obtains visit permission from the prosecution, the prison also often refuses. Also, completely prohibits books, newspapers or radios. Also, it prevents most prisoners from the daily hour of exercise.
Regarding the cell, it’s extremely cold during the winter and hot during the summer due to its infrastructure. It’s worth noting that many cells are based underground so there is no sunlight or ventilation.