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‘Coup Crime Watch’: Justice for Detainees in Putsch Prisons

‘Coup Crime Watch’ Demands Justice for Detainees in Putsch Prisons

by Julie Webb-Pullman
September 4, 2013

Egypt’s Coup Crime Watch group holds putschist authorities responsible for all mistreatment and inhumane conditions political detainees suffer in their prisons.

The Coup Crime Watch (CCW) group demanded the formation of a committee of elders of judges, led by justices Zakaria Abdul-Aziz and Ahmed Makki, to visit detention centers, document any irregularities or violations, by either the detainees or prison administrators, and to receive any complaints from detainees.

In a statement Sunday, the CCW further demanded the formation of an independent fact-finding committee, to carry out surprise inspections of places where detainees are being kept, to monitor the implementation of laws, regulations, and rights of detainees, and to investigate all violations committed against prisoners.

In addition to identifying violations of prisoners’ rights, the CCW said, the functions of this committee should include determining the party or parties responsible for violations, the Prison Service or higher authorities which issued the orders for mass violations. The CCW added that this Committee should then submit a report on its work to the general public.

The CCW said it held Egyptian coup authorities responsible for the lives of political prisoners, opponents of the coup, exposed to the worst kinds of torture. It stressed that the Prison Service has become the most determined offender violating the law, international norms and conventions under the pressure of the bloody military coup leaders.

The CCW statement further said that violations against the detainees include failure to provide necessary health care, especially as many of them are ill and need regular medical attention.

The CCW affirms that this is a violation of the rights covered by international conventions and the Egyptian prisons law, which are not being applied on the ground in Egypt, in spite of Article 33 of the Law of Egyptian Prisons.

The statement also said that the Ministry of Interior continued to use excessive force against detainees, at the same time imposing a blackout over all violations, by not providing adequate information about detainees or their places of detention.

The CCW stressed that, during the investigation, prosecutors showed complete disregard to and disinterest in these violations, which raises serious questions about the position of public prosecutor toward this matter.

The CCW further stressed that military-appointed coup authorities continue to commit crimes against humanity. It pointed that it has documented several cases of enforced disappearances from July 3, 2013 until now.

It added that the people find themselves incapable of dealing with such cases, although existing legal provisions dictate that security apparatus must protect citizens. Egypt has witnessed several forced disappearance phenomena still going on, while security services refuse to recognize, admit or deny them.

The CCW statement further stressed the need to refer all officers and other officials against whom sufficient evidence exits to criminal trials without delay, and that they also must be suspended from work until the completion of investigations and the trials.

The statement called for local and foreign human rights organizations to be allowed to visit prisons, monitor what is happening and document testimonies by political prisoners, opponents of the coup.

ENDS

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