The Egyptian Front for Human Rights condemns the deterioration of detention conditions in the Badr 3 Center for Correction and Rehabilitation, specifically of those who were transferred from the high-security prison 1 “Al-Aqrab” during the last months. After years of deteriorating conditions of their detention inside the notorious Aqrab Prison, the administration of Badr 3 Center continues to deny them their right to visitation and communication with the outside world, treats them in a humiliating manner inside this prison, which refutes the government’s propaganda of improving the detention conditions once detainees are transferred to new prisons, sustaining that this center does not offer anything new, but rather is run by the same punitive philosophy and institutional culture prevailing among prison officials and administrations.
Recently, some families of the detainees in Badr 3 prison submitted an official complaint to the President of the National Council for Human Rights, Moushira Khattab, regarding their relatives’ continued deprivation of their legal rights. They demanded that the council allow them to visit their relatives and to bring in food, books, clothes, blankets and hygiene tools, in addition to allowing them to communicate in writing. They also demanded a special visit organized by the National Council for Human Rights to the center.
Regarding the right to visitation, the complaint stressed that the Badr 3 Center Administration continues to deny families their right to visit their detained relatives, since their transfer to it in August, following six years of being denied that right in Al-Aqrab Prison. Despite the improvement of conditions during the visit in terms of the presence of an umbrella and a cafeteria and responding to the inquiries of the families, yet they have not been allowed to visit or see their relatives so far. This comes in contrast to the authorities’ claims that the Badr Center organizes family visits in a “sophisticated manner” and that the visitors are transported by buses designated for them to meet their detained relatives in large areas, sources have told the Egyptian Front.
As for the detainees’ right to communicate with the outside world; the complaint detailed that they have no means to check on their relatives inside, they know nothing about them, especially with the continued prevention of all legal means of communication with the detainees, whether through correspondence or phone calls, which raises their concerns about the conditions of their detention and their health, especially in light of the continued ban on visits, the same sources confirmed.
As for allowing the “visit” inside, which is known as “Tabliah”(food table), the administration of Badr 3 Center continues to prevent families from bringing in food, clothes, textbooks, hygiene tools, or anything else that is permitted by law. Regarding medicines, families express their fears that they do not reach their relatives after already handing it over to the center’s employees.
Regarding the treatment of detainees, sources confirmed to the Egyptian Front, that prominent leaders detained inside the center are subjected to insults by prison officials, which prompted one of the detainees, a Muslim Brotherhood leader, to declare his hunger strike for more than three weeks in response to being insulted. Meanwhile, the same sources confirm that flashlights are continuously shining inside the cells in which the leaders are being held. With regard to monitoring, several sources indicated the presence of surveillance cameras inside the cells, which coincides with scenes from the propaganda video released by the Ministry of Interior about the center, that comes in the context of enabling the center’s administration to manage it in a modern way, as part of the central administration of the system through a central command of the prison complex, but it violates the privacy of detainees and puts additional psychological pressure on them.
In the end of December 2021, the Ministry of Interior had announced in a propaganda video the opening of the Badr Correction and Rehabilitation Center as an extension of the security complex in Badr City, which was built on an area of 85 acres to include three reform and rehabilitation centers, one of which is the Badr 3 center. The video has shown the development of buildings and control systems, and also indicated the rights enjoyed by inmates within it, such as the right to health care, visitation, exercise, education, etc.
The Egyptian Front for Human Rights calls on the authorities to clarify the conditions of detainees inside the Badr 3 Correction and Rehabilitation Center and to immediately stop depriving them of their basic rights, which are guaranteed by the Prisons Organization Law and its executive regulations. The Egyptian Front also calls on the National Council for Human Rights to maintain its role and organize an official visit to Badr 3 Center to find out the reality of the detention conditions inside it. EFHR stresses upon the importance of repairing the punitive philosophical and institutional culture of the workers in these centers/prisons, along with developing the infrastructure for places of detention and stopping using development work in detention buildings as part of propaganda campaigns that do not benefit the detainees or address the actual problem, as it only aims at improving the regime’s image abroad.