Amnesty International is calling on Egypt to end “cruel and inhumane” conditions at Cairo’s al-Aqrab prison, where around 130 detainees have been on a mass hunger strike for over six weeks. Many of the prisoners say they have not been allowed visitation with families or lawyers in more than two years since their arrest. Amnesty International says prison authorities have retaliated against the hunger strikers by “beating them” and “applying electric shocks with tasers.” Detainees were also subject to enforced disappearances before they were referred to trial.
The death of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi in June cast a renewed spotlight on the horrific conditions faced by prisoners in Egypt. Morsi had been imprisoned at al-Aqrab for nearly six years following his ouster in a military coup led by now-President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.