World Bulletin / News Desk
An independent rights group on Monday announced plans to file a complaint with the United Nations over what it described as "abuses and violations" in Egypt's prisons.
"The committee has taken initial steps of submitting a complaint, backed by evidence, of torture and abuse cases inside [Egyptian] jails to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights," the Higher Committee for the Prison Uprising said in a statement.
The committee said it would press for sanctions against the Egyptian government and the suspension of the country's membership in international organizations until "the grave violations perpetrated inside Egypt's prisons are brought to an end."
The committee has asked the Egyptian authorities to allow rights groups to assess prison conditions.
It asserted that around 20,000 detained supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, along with 32,000 of their relatives, were on a hunger strike to protest prison conditions and demand the release of political detainees.
The Egyptian Interior Ministry has denied the report, saying no prisoners had returned their meals or refused family visits.
But in its statement, the committee insisted that around 1200 prisoners had refused to meet visiting relatives on Saturday and Sunday, adding that it had confirmed this with prisoners' families.
It accused the Interior Ministry of using "excessive" force in dealing with prisoners, leading to the injury of 70 of them – including 24 minors – at a detention facility in northern Cairo.
The prisoners, who launched their hunger strike on Friday, are demanding the release of all political detainees and that Egyptian detention centers be put under international supervision.
They also demand an end to all forms of torture and abuse inside the nation's prisons.
There are no accurate figures regarding the number of Egyptians jailed for opposing the army-backed authorities since the military ousted and imprisoned elected president Mohamed Morsi last July.
However, rights groups and the pro-Morsi National Alliance for the Defense of Legitimacy put the number at some 22,000.
Egypt's military-backed government denies the presence of any "political" prisoners in Egypt, insisting the thousands arrested since Morsi's ouster face "criminal" charges.
Egyptian authorities have launched a massive crackdown on supporters of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood group, killing hundreds and rounding up thousands in the almost 11 months since his ouster.Last Mod: 02 Haziran 2014, 12:48