Daily News Egypt
April 19, 2015Two detainees have died in an Old Cairo police station due to the lack of ventilation, with the prosecution ordering an autopsy of the bodies, state media said.
The Ministry of Interior said the deaths were due a “circulatory failure.”
The first incident happened last Thursday, when a prisoner suffered a heart attack due to the police station’s crowded detention room. The deceased was accused of stealing a car battery.
The second case, the prosecution said, suffered circulatory failure and received first aid from his fellow inmates and the police station medics, but died instantly. He was charged with narcotics possession.
After investigating the death, the prosecution said the number of detainees in the cell was 380, while its capacity allows only 100 prisoners.
Since the beginning of the year, the number of deaths in police custody has been increasing.
Last week, Prosecutor General Hisham Barakat organised a visit to detention centres at a number of police stations, where he observed several “violations,” such as the presence of insects and rubbish, state media reported.
The police stations included the Ain Shams, El-Marg, Shubra El-Kheima, and Matariya.
Matariya police station is controversially known on the political scene as the “slaughter house”, in reference to the abundance of torture cases against detainees who are pending investigations.
Other violations observed by the prosecution were overcrowdedness, which “can lead to the spread of diseases and the deaths of diabetes and blood pressure patients”. The members of the prosecution said that the conditions of the cells were “inhumane.”
Last January, Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report strongly criticising Egyptian authorities for failing to improve detention conditions or to independently investigate reported detainees’ deaths as a result of physical torture inside prisons.