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Egypt: Deaths in custody

, Index number: MDE 12/018/1995

Between January and September 1995 at least 26 detainees, most of whom were suspected members or sympathizers of banned Islamist groups, died in detention centres. Most of the deaths took place at al-Wadi al-Gadid Prison. Almost all those who died were administrative detainees. AI is concerned that torture and ill-treatment, poor hygiene, overcrowded prison cells and poor diet were the cause of, or a contributory factor, to most deaths. It has also been reported that basic medical facilities were not available for the treatment of health problems and may have contributed to the death of prisoners. In most cases families of those who died in custody were not given medical, autopsy reports or even death certificates. The Egyptian authorities have stated that all allegations of torture and deaths in custody are officially investigated. AI is concerned, however, that the methods of investigation and their full findings are not made public, contrary to the requirements of international standards.

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