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NEWS

Short Update: Outbreaks of COVID-19 in Egyptian prisons reported despite strict information blackout

FairTrialsAdmin - July 20, 2020 - COVID-19 Updates, prison conditions, Prisoner releases

Despite a strict information blackout across Egypt, Human Rights Watch have reported that there have been suspected COVID-19 outbreaks in several Egyptian prisons and police stations. 

At least 14 prisoners and detainees have died, most likely from COVID-19 complications, in 10 detention facilities as of July 15, although many more prisoners and detainees have shown mild to severe COVID-19 symptoms. Prisons have had insufficient medical care and virtually no access to testing for the virus or symptom screening.  

Egyptian authorities have released about 13,000 prisoners since late February, but this number is insufficient to sufficiently ease overcrowding in the congested prisons and jails. 

Authorities have imposed a comprehensive information blackout on detention sites, banning all prison visits, including by lawyers, since March 10. Prisoners have been threatened with punishments for leaking any information. 

We publish information as it is reported to us. If you would like to make us aware of an inaccuracy or send us more information please email us at [email protected].  

If you are a journalist interested in this story, please telephone Fair Trials’ press department on +44 (0) 20 7822 2370 or +32 (0) 2 360 04 71.

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