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Story Publication logo July 31, 2020

Poor Conditions in Egyptian Prisons

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A family walks in Hamra, Beirut. Stores and restaurants are closed due to the Covid-19 virus. Image by Hassan Chamoun / Shutterstock.com. Lebanon, 2020.
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In its first season, Almostajad will focus on the COVID-19 crisis and will transition into a weekly...

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Blurred waving flag of Egypt behind barbed wire fence. Image by Novikov Aleksey. Undated.
Blurred waving flag of Egypt behind barbed wire fence. Image by Novikov Aleksey. Undated.

Concerns over the spread of coronavirus in Egypt's overcrowded prisons are rising. The government is not providing sufficient information about the health of the 114,000 inmates found in Egyptian prisons. Some prisoners recently started a hunger strike to draw attention to the poor conditions they are in. They are being denied access to basic hygiene and medical supplies. Inmates are also not allowed to meet with their families. One of the prisoners facing these conditions is Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a leading voice during the 2011 uprising, who was jailed in 2013 on charges of protesting without permission.

Are the government's efforts adequate to contain the virus? Is there enough testing for COVID-19 in Egyptian prisons? What are the families of the prisoners concerned about?

In this episode of Almostajad, we speak with Egyptian academic Leila Suwaif, Abdel-Fattah's mother, and activist Mouna Suwaif, Abdel-Fattah's sister. They argue that immediately releasing political prisoners is not only right, but also necessary to protect their health.

This episode was hosted by Abir Kopty, written by Mahmoud Alkhawaja, and edited by Tayseer Kabbani. The executive producer of Almostajad is Ramsey Tesdell.

To listen to the full episode in Arabic, click here.

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