The GDP has been unable to find any reports indicating that authorities have taken measures to assist migrants and asylum seekers, who are generally detained in prisons and police stations in Egypt.
On 11 March 2020, the Egyptian government suspended visits to prisoners for 10 days due to the Covid-19 outbreak. Activists have urged the government to grant parole to prisoners and staged a protest demanding the release of prisoners. Prisoners detained in the Tora prison wrote a letter demanding to be saved “before an imminent spread of the coronavirus.” The letter also highlighted the absence of minimum health and safety standards such as the provision of medical supplies, access to medical care and clean water.
On 1 April 2020, the Egyptian Batel opposition campaign called for the release of more than a thousand doctors and healthcare workers in prisons to help in countering the pandemic. The Campaign stated that: “Egypt cannot be suffering from a shortage of medical personnel, while there are more than 1000 doctors and healthcare workers in prisons … the regime must put aside any political dispute and must release these doctors for use in government hospitals, prison hospitals or military hospitals.”
- Middle East Monitor, “Egypt Stops Prison Visits Over Coronavirus Fears,” 11 March 2020, https://www.middleeastmonitor.com/20200311-egypt-shuts-down-prisons-over-coronavirus-spread/
- E. Graham-Harrison, “Egypt Arrests Activists Including Ahdaf Soueif Over Coronavirus Protest,” 18 March 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/18/egypt-arrests-activists-calling-prisoners-release-coronavirus-ahdaf-soueif
- M. Ayesh, “Arabic Press Review: Hamas Demands Release of Palestinians from Saudi Prisons,” Middle East Eye, 23 March 2020, https://bit.ly/2wYt4Cz
- Global Detention Project, “Immigration Detention in Egypt,” https://www.globaldetentionproject.org/countries/africa/egypt