Egypt: "Someone is sick guard", leaked audio

Leaked audio from Egypt’s Tora Prison has captured detainees banging on the doors of their cells calling a prison guard to save a prisoner who is in a critical condition.

The audio was obtained by the Turkey-based human rights group We Record, and highlights the desperate plight of medical neglect inside Egypt’s prisons.

Earlier this year the journalist Mahmoud Abdel Majid Mahmoud, 47, died inside Scorpion Prison after his health deteriorated after he was denied medical care and he suffered from the cold and hunger.

Inmates are kept in overcrowded, dirty cells without ventilation and are given insufficient food. Blankets, heaters, and warm clothing are arbitrarily prohibited from entering, which in this harsh winter weather has exacerbated existing medical conditions.

Prison authorities ignored Mahmoud’s deteriorating health, despite the fact that he and his cellmates continuously called for help.

Following his death some 300 prisoners began a mass hunger strike in protest, demanding authorities open a serious investigation into what happened. But authorities responded to the strike by confiscating their belongings and raiding their cells.

One week ago 54-year-old Moustafa Kassem became the first American to die inside an Egyptian jail.

Moustafa, who had diabetes and a heart ailment, died of heart failure after being denied adequate medical care. He had been on hunger strike since 8 September 2019 after more than six years inside jail, over five of which were spent in pre-trial detention.

Less than a week after Mahmoud died, political prisoner Alaa El-Din Saad, 56 died inside Burj Al-Arab Prison after being denied medical care.

Last year Egypt’s elected President Mohamed Morsi collapsed in a court room after years of ill-health and persistent warnings that he was undergoing a protracted death.

His death shone a light on the systematic medical negligence practiced by Egypt’s prison authorities though since then, conditions have not improved.