Fourth suspect dies in Dar al-Salam police station

Dar al-Salam prosecution resumed on Thursday investigations into the death of a fourth prisoner inside Dar al-Salam police station, who was held pending interrogations on robbery.

The incident, which took place on Thursday, is the fourth suspect to die in two months while in the police station awaiting investigations.

Prosecution Chief Hazem Lame’y ordered the body of the victim to be transfered to Zeinhom morgue to investigate the reaons behind his death and delegatied a doctor of forensic medicine to investigate the detention cell as well as another doctor to check if there was an epidemic inside the cell. He also ordered samples be taken from other detainees.

South Cairo Prosecution attorney general visited the detention center, which is comprised of eight cells, each containing up to 35 detainees, though they should not contain more than 16. Inspection showed damage in fans and that some suspects had sentences, while others have been kept for four months without being transferred to prisons.

Investigations also showed that the deaths had chronic diseases like diabetes and heart diseases and that their health status are affected by the detention place. However, when asked about the reason behind not transferring the prisoners to a better-equipped prison, the policemen said they did not find place there.

The first two cases died in detention in January, while the third case died two days ago. Report by the forensic doctor who inspected the detention cell showed that Dar al-Salam police station’s eight detention cells should only hold 16 suspects, however, they were holding from 32 to 35 suspects all crammed inside. The report also pointed to bad ventilation in the cells, which harm suspects' health.

Egypt Independent spoke to Hossam Meneai, the filmmaker who was taken into custody from his home by security services in late January with American translator Jeremy Hodge.

Meneai described similar conditions in the Dokki police station where he was held for 19 days. “Our bathroom was so full of cockroaches, you couldn't even see the color of the wall. I'm talking about thousands of them,” he said.
The air of his small cell, he said, was humid and suffocating as he shared it with from 25 to 30 men and the cell only had two small windows, which did not let any air in as the fans were broken. Meneai says upon his release from the Dokki police station, he suffered from respiratory problems for weeks.

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