The Egyptian authorities have decided to build a new prison in Qaliubiya Governorate, north of Cairo, the third to be built this year and the eleventh since the military coup in July 2013, according to the Anadolu Agency.
The Egyptian official gazette published the Interior Minister’s decree to build a new central prison in the industrial zone at the Obour City, which will focus on al-Qaliubiya Governorate. The prison will have the name of the ‘Obour Central Prison’.
Throughout three years, Egypt has built 10 prisons that extend all over the country. Human rights groups have said that there are 40 prisons in Egypt, 382 detention places in police stations, as well as the secret prisons in the Central Security Camps (affiliated to the Interior Ministry) and inside the military headquarters (affiliated to the Defence Ministry). All these prisons and detention camps are used to hold prisoners in terrible conditions.
Since the military coup against the first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi, the Egyptian authorities have increased arbitrary arrests of the political opponents who are against the military regime. Many detainees have died as a result of torture and medical negligence according to reports documented by Egyptian rights groups.
Also, the Egyptian authorities face many criticisms by the human rights activists and organizations for its policy of building more prisons. However, the Interior Ministry and the presidency usually deny these accusations and say they are committed to the Egyptian Constitution and law. The Egyptian government also says that the Prisons Sector treats all detainees according to the human rights laws and provides full health care, a claim denied by the human rights groups. The Arab Organization for Human Rights said that the number of prisoners held in Egyptian jails and detention centers has exceeded 41,000 persons.
Since al-Sisi’s military coup in 2013, a massive crackdown on political opposition and human rights organizations has taken place. The Egyptian authorities have focused only on security matters instead of improving economic deteriorations, providing new job opportunities for thousands of unemployed youth, and building at least one million housing units to accommodate young couples.
On the contrary, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi has only managed to build more prisons and detention centers to accommodate the growing number of opposition activists. Building prisons cost million of pounds at a time when the Egyptian people suffer from poor economic and financial standards.
At an Earlier time this year, the Arab Organization for Human Rights has released a report stating that the cost of the Gamasa prison construction was 750 million Egyptian pounds ($95.8 million). However, the Ministry of Interior does not publish the expenses of prisons construction which probably cost billions of Egyptian pounds.