Before it becomes another Badr 3: EFHR calls for improving detention conditions in Badr 1 Prison and an immediate halt to arbitrary punitive measures in response to a protest strike by detainees inside.

EFHR expresses its deep concern regarding the information received from Badr 1 Prison/Rehabilitation Center about the escalating violations against detainees, including power cuts and their impact on the ventilation system and detainees’ health. This led the detainees to announce a protest strike at the end of May to demand improvements in these deteriorating conditions. In response, the prison administration imposed punitive measures, including “taghrib”, transferring some detainees to other cells or other prisons such as Minya Prison.

According to documentation conducted by the EFHR with the families of two detainees in Badr 1, along with a collective letter that the EFHR reviewed, detainees are subjected to several ongoing violations related to their detention conditions, as well as punitive measures against those protesting and attempting to improve these conditions. This raises concerns about the deterioration of detention conditions within this prison, approaching the dire conditions faced by detainees in Badr 3 Prison/Rehabilitation Center.

Inhumane Detention Conditions

The families of several detainees confirmed the severe restrictions on visits in Badr 1 Prison, as well as the accompanying violations such as humiliating searches of families during these infrequent visits and the harsh and inhumane treatment the detinees face. Additionally, the detainees endure harsh living conditions and food shortages inside the prison, similar to the conditions in Badr 3 Prison, as described by the families. The frequent power outages have exacerbated the situation, affecting the ventilation system and the health of elderly and sick prisoners, with only one light bulb functioning during these outages.

In light of these conditions, the detainees announced their demands in a letter reviewed by EFHR. Their demands include changing the prison administration, including the national security officer, the chief investigator, and the warden, and the arrival of a National Human Rights Council and the prosecution to assess the situation and hear the detainees’ testimonies. Additionally, they called for improving conditions inside the prison and the treatment of detainees and their families.

Arbitrary Punitive Measures in Response to the Strike

After the strike began and the demands were presented to the national security officer through negotiations, they were rejected. The prison administration responded by increasing daily cell inspections, including disruptive night searches where detainees were exposed to bright lights during sleep, believed to be a pressure tactic against the strikers, impacting their psychological and physical health.

Furthermore, the authorities separated the striking detainees from non-striking ones based on lists provided. They isolated these individuals in separate cells within Badr 1 Prison and transferred some to Minya Prison on June 8, with additional plans to move them to New Valley Prison, according to the families of detainees. For those who remained, conditions worsened with cuts to water and electricity, restricted access to food and canteen services. Additionally, the prison authorities took a group of detainees, shaved their heads, and did not allow them to take any extra clothing or food with them, confiscating their medications and essential items.

EFHR calls on the relevant authorities, including the Public Prosecution and the National Human Rights Counci, to take immediate action and fulfill their oversight roles on detention centers, conduct an independent investigation into these complaints, and promptly verify the detention conditions in Badr 1 Prison. It is also necessary to ensure the humane treatment of all detainees, take immediate steps to improve living and detention conditions, review the legal status of elderly detainees and those with chronic medical conditions who have been in pretrial detention for over two years. Furthermore, family visits should be facilitated without harassment.

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