Detention and Detainees in Egypt - HRAAP Sixth Annual Report

Cairo on 7/7/2004
For Immediate Release

Detention and Detainees in Egypt
Sixth Annual Report
Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners (HRAAP) on the
Conditions of Detainees and Detention Places in Egypt in 2003

The Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners will hold a
press conference at 11 am on Tuesday, 13/7/2004 to announce its sixth
annual report about the conditions of detainees and detention places in
Egypt during 2003. The report covers the period from January to December
2003. The press conference will be held at HRAAP's headquarters located in
14, Saray Al Azbakeya St, from Imadeddin St, behind Al Amrecain restaurant,
third floor, flat 17.

The report includes a section on the conditions of temporary detention
places and the people detained in these places. Conditions have extremely
deteriorated in these detention places. On the grounds that they are
temporary gathering places for detainees, they do not contain any means of
caring for detainees. Moreover, they have recently become places of torture
and abuse. This year's report also has a special independent section
addressing the phenomenon of torture in temporary detention places. The
year 2003 witnessed an increase in cases of torture in the said places,
apart from the spread of torture in State Security Investigations sites.
The report also monitors the rising use of custody in some cases as a type
of indirect punishment against defendants. This leads to crowding the
already crowded prisons, a significant lack of services, and even the
possibility of subjecting innocent citizens to punishment without allowing
them the right to file grievances or obtain compensation for damages caused
by such unfair punishment.

This year's report also includes a new section to evaluate detainee legal
protection mechanisms and their sufficiency in providing protection against
unfair treatment and abuse committed by detention authorities.

Moreover, the report monitors the most significant human rights mechanisms
introduced in Egypt during 2003, including the enforcement of the new Civil
Associations Law 84 of 2002 and the start of actual friction between human
rights organizations on the one hand, and the administration represented by
the Ministry of Social Affairs. The report also monitors the promulgation
of the law governing the establishment of the National Council for Human
Rights and if it negatively or positively affected the issue of human
rights in Egypt.

The report reminds of involuntary disappearances of citizens arrested by
the police, which show carelessness about the lives of Egyptian citizens
about whom the interior ministry refuses to give any information or start
fair and independent investigations to uncover the fate of the mentioned
citizens. The report monitors the inefficiency of concerned authorities in
uncovering the fate of tens of Egyptians who were victims of claims to
obtain jobs abroad despite the spread of just crimes recently.

The report continues its general character in discussing the conditions of
prisons as main detention places, the reasons leading to detention,
including administrative detention which expanded in 2003 to include
citizens accused of crimes that fall under the jurisdiction of regular
courts, in addition to the continuation and expansion of the phenomenon of
repeated detention.

HRAAP hopes that this report helps improve the conditions of detention
places and detainees in Egypt in particular, and human rights' conditions
in general. HRAAP also hopes that the report assists the Government of
Egypt in taking suitable measures to achieve this purpose. HRAAP believes
that a free nation can not be built in the absence of free citizens that
are aware that the law guarantees their freedom and physical safety, and
that law enforcement authorities respect their legal obligations through
respecting the Constitution, the law and refrain from breaking them either
explicitly or indirectly.

The Human Rights Association for the Assistance of Prisoners

The report is distributed in Arab at the press conference. It will be sent
to those on HRAAP's mailing list. To obtain a copy of the report or any of
HRAAP's publications, please contact us to phone number 712 16 56, email: The report can also be viewed at HRAAP's website:

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