The Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights filed a suit no. 37306 judiciary year no. 74 before administrative court disputing the following:
-The Prime Minister
-Minister of Interior
-Major assistant of Minister of Interior for prison services
-Warden of Torah prison
To appeal against the negative decision to abstain enabling lawyer and former parliament member Ziad Al Eleimy – currently detained in Torah prison – to contact his lawyer and family by any communication indirect means as a right stated in law or organizing prisons of which allows the complainant to contact his lawyer and his family through letters, cables and phone calls in accordance to the article no. 38 of prison law and articles, 60 to 67 of the prison executive regulations issued by the Minister of Interior.
.Eleimy suffers from a number of maladies, including “sarcoidosis”, which is an inflammatory disease that affects multiple organs in the body, but mostly the lungs and lymph glands. Moreover, he is suffers from diabetes, high blood pressure, chronic bronchial asthma, in addition to chronic inflammation of limps and head nerves. As the complainant suffers from a critical health status, particularly, under the existence of covid-19 pandemic, which affects patients of high risk conditions like him.
As Al Eleimy’s family aims at contacting him by any means to check his health and to make sure that his condition is stable, moreover, to send him a message that all family members as in good health, supporting his morals, as anexiety may affect his immune system negatively. Therefore, his lawyers demand to enable him to communicate with his family and lawyer, nevertheless, the authorities abstained from fulfilling the demand under the pretext of protecting Eleimy and other prisoners, depriving them from visits under the conditions of the pandemic.
As the constitutional provisions state that prisons and sites of detention are subject to judiciary supervision, banning any acts that degrade human dignity or jeopardizing health conditions, therefore, under this pandemic, all governments, including the Egyptian government, have took measures confronting this pandemic. However, depriving prisoners and detainees from contacting their families and lawyers might affect their morals negatively and degrade their dignity in the way that is prohibited by the constitution. Not to mention depriving his lawyer from being informed of his health conditions, weighing the dangers he may face and to make sure that he receives the suitable treatment, which deprives him from his legal rights on this subject.
The constitution obliges the state to offer safety to each citizen as it is an original human right, including the prisoners and detainees who have to feel safe and make sure that their families are doing well. As the blockage of information concerning their families may cause a psychological damage which is a punishment that is more severe than prison. As the prison regulations obliges the prison’s administration to offer papers and elements necessary for writing to the prisoners, therefore, prisoners of mild sentences and detainees have the right to correspond whenever they want. Each prisoner sentenced to prison has the right to send four letters monthly, nevertheless, most political prisoners are deprived from this right, despite of the regulations, which grant the warden the right to check the prisoners letters, whether received or sent, except for correspondences between the defendant and his/her lawyer concerning the case s/he accused in.
It is allowed for prisoners to receive letters sent to them, unless the warden or the director of the prison thinks that it is suspicious or negatively affect security. All visits and letters are registered in a file. As visits are suspended and correspondences are banned, it is essential to enable the prisoner to make a phone call.