EOHR urges the minister of interior to retract is ammendment of the prison charter, and to return back to the old charter which was agreed upon between the National Council for Human Rights and the Minsitry of Interior

February 20th, 2017 by Editor

EOHR urges the minister of interior to retract is ammendment of the prison charter, and to return back to the old charter which was agreed upon between the National Council for Human Rights and the Minsitry of Interior

The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR) expresses its concern regarding the ministry of interior’s decision to ammend the prison charter. These ammendmendts included changes to 4 articles of the charter that cover issues such solitary confinment, the maximum age for children in the prison’s child care facilities, the regulations for the use of force with prisoners, and the regulations of the visits and inspections conducted by the National Council for Human Rights of prisons.

 

The article of solitary confinment was amended, by that it gave the administrative authorities of the prison the right to place a prisoner under solitary confinment for up to 6 months, by that extending the maximum period almost a six fold, as the article before ammendment only allowed for a maximum of 15 days of solitary confinment.

 

Another ammendemnt was made to the article that regulates NCHR visits and inspections. The charter gave the NHCR the rights to inspect any prison after obtaining prior approval from the prosecutor general, however the ammendment gives the ministry of interior the right to cancel or postpone any given visit for health or security reasons. This presents a violation of the NHCR’s indpendence, and will impede its ability to fulfil its functions and obligations.

 

The only positive ammendment was one made to articles pertaining to child care offered to the offspring of female inmates. The maximum age for a child to be allowed to reside in the prison with his mother has been raised from 2 years to 4 years.

EOHR demands that the ministry of interior undo these ammendments, and would like to stress the fact that the past version of the charter was a result of a consensus between then minister of interior General Mohamed Ibrahim and the NCHR that was represented by several members including Hafez Abu Seada the president of EOHR. EOHR sees the current version as a clear violation of this agreement, and believes that any future ammendments should only be made after consutling forces of civil society and political parties

 

Hafez Abu Seada the president of EOHR implored the ministry of interior to do away with these ammendemnts, and engage in societal dialogue before taking such steps so that they come in line with the principles of human rights.

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