Middle East

EX-HRW director calls on Egypt to release elderly prisoners – Middle East Monitor

Executive Director of Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Sarah Leah Whitson, yesterday called on Egyptian authorities to release elderly prisoners.

In a video posted on Twitter by Batel Campaign, Whitson said: “I am speaking today to make an urgent appeal to Egyptian authorities and those who have influence with the Egyptian authorities to move to release the elderly prisoners from Egypt’s detention centres.”

She added: “There really is no serious security reason to justify their continued detention. We know that there are over 7,000 detainees who are over 60 years of age, many of them are political prisoners. We know that there are at least 1,500 extremely sick detainees.”

“Detainees,” she continued, face “inadequate food, inadequate medical care and inadequate sanitary conditions.”

“We know that detainees are deprived of lights, are deprived of exercise, are deprived of heat, electricity and basic items of shelter.”

READ: Egypt has no balance between citizens’ rights and the government’s duties

On 29 December, Batel, a campaigning group created by Egyptian opposition figures in 2018, called for the immediate release of elderly prisoners in Egyptian jails.

The campaign group called for human rights organisations to highlight the harsh conditions endured by elderly and sick detainees.

DAWN was launched in September, two years after the murder of its founder, Saudi columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

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