Going in you are lost, coming out you are born again. This is the closest description to police stations these days.
Since Magdi Abdel Ghaffar became Interior Minister in March, the number of detainees dying in police stations has increased, with the causes of death varying between medical negligence, lack of hygiene and failure to protect detainees.
Al-Haram Police Station:
Last March, Hussein Mahmoud Abdel Wahab Abdel Mawla died at the Al-Haram Police Station after he was arrested on suspicion of drug possession while evading a security checkpoint on the Cairo-Fayoum desert road.
According to the investigation and the officer in charge of the checkpoint, Abdel Mawla swallowed a roll of hashish while the police were chasing him, which was the cause of his death 30 minutes after he was taken to the station.
His family gathered outside the police station, accusing the security forces of torturing him.
Bulaq al-Dakrour Police Station:
On April 8, a detainee of the Bulaq al-Dakrour Police Station died of a heart attack, and the forensic report said there were no signs of torture on the body of the deceased.
Old Cairo Police Station:
Ten days after the Bulaq al-Dakrour incident, another detainee died in the Old Cairo Police Station of a sharp drop in his blood circulation. Two days later, yet another detainee died in the same station.
The committee that inspected the detention hall said it was designed to accommodate 120 people. In reality, there were 380 detainees in it, the air ventilators were not working, the toilets were too small and the whole place was filthy.
The Mansheya Police Department in Alexandria:
In the same month, a detainee died in the Mansheya Police Department in Alexandria, and the forensic report said there were no signs of torture on his body, which his fellow detainees did confirm.
The Shubra al-Kheima Police Station:
Also in April, a detainee was injured in the Shubra al-Kheima Police Station from a fight with another detainee. He was taken to the hospital where he stayed for a week, but died of his injuries.
High security prison:
On May 22, a prisoner accused of storming the Matay Police Station in Minya died in a high security prison. The forensic report said he had asthma, and ruled out any criminal suspicion.
Electric shocks in Imbaba Police Station:
Four days later, a detainee died in the Imbaba Police Station. The forensic report said he was electrified when he touched a wire that was dangling from an air-conditioner, and was taken to the hospital, where he died.
His fellow detainees did confirm the incident, whereas the inspection of the detention hall did not find any dangling electrical wires.
The National Human Rights Council confirms torture:
A delegation of the National Council for Human Rights visited the Abu Zaabal prison in March for an hour and a half to inspect the prisoners' conditions. The members of the delegation said they saw traces of beating with sticks on the bodies of some prisoners.
Council member Salah Salam said he saw signs of torture on the body of photographer Ahmed Gamal Zeyada and four other prisoners.
The Council said that prisoners are denied breaks, and that four of them were placed in disciplinary rooms in inhumane conditions for periods ranging from a week to 16 days and were given bad food and water.
The delegation noticed that the prisoners were afraid to talk about their conditions, as they were being threatened by the prison guards.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm