The Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms (ECRF) received news from trusted sources that a detainee in Ismailia Police Station II is infected with the novel coronavirus, and that he was sent to a quarantine hospital after a swap test confirmed a positive result.
The details of the situation is as follows: ECRF knew from trusted sources that the detainee A. Q. who is held in pre-trial detention in the Ismailia Police Station II pending investigations in a criminal case (of a non-political nature) felt severely fatigued during the review hearing of his pre-trial detention order. The judge decided that he is to be examined by a doctor.
Necessary tests were made, and it was ascertained that he has coronavirus. He was immediately transferred to Agouza Hospital dedicated to the quarantine and treatment of coronavirus patients.
ECRF demands testing everyone who was in contact with the infected detainee, including all persons detained with him during the period of his detention in the Police Station until he was moved to the hospital.
ECRF renews the demands it raised in its previous statement issued on March 17, in which it called for urgent and drastic measures to decrease over-crowdedness in places of detention, including prisons and police stations, in order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic among prisoners, detainees and members of the police in these places for the sake of the protection of public health.
ECRF called for five urgent measures as follows:
– First: Releasing all prisoners of conscience held in pre-trial detention in political cases, or those who serve prison terms because of practicing their constitutional and fundamental rights to freedom of opinion and expression, peaceful assembly, freedom of association and for defending human rights, as well as removing precautionary measures imposed on them.
– Second: Releasing people in pre-trial detention because of criminal charges not related to the practice of their rights and freedoms, pursuant to the principle of the presumption of innocence and in the public interest of the protection of public health.
– Third: Expanding the use of releases on health grounds and conditional release of prisoners who serve prison terms for crimes not related to the practice of their rights and freedoms. It is possible to apply precautionary measures on those cases.
– Fourth: Releasing prisoners convicted in criminal cases not related to practicing their rights and freedoms who are old, or sick or belong to the most vulnerable groups to the complications of the Coronavirus disease. It is possible to resort to the precautionary measure of obliging them not to leave their homes except for medical treatment.
– Fifth: Providing hygienic products and protective tools for the detainees and members of the police working in prisons and police stations, and improving health conditions in places of detention to avoid the spread of the infection, in addition to allowing families to visit their incarcerated ones while taking all necessary measures to prevent transmission of the virus.