The lawyer and former presidential candidate, Khaled Ali, filed a lawsuit against the Prime Minister, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Interior, and the Assistant Minister for the Prisons Authority sector, both in his capacity, in order to make Corona virus vaccines available to his clients of Egyptian political prisoners.
The lawsuit was filed before the Administrative Court, and it was carried out by authorizing the former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Abul Fotouh – who came fourth in the 2012 elections – along with journalists Hisham Fouad and Hossam Mo’nis, and the activists: Sanaa Seif, Alaa Abdel Fattah, Ahmed Douma, Rami Shaath, And Ziad Al-Alimi.
The lawsuit stated that the clients insist on registering their desires to have their names listed, and the names of other detainees who are imprisoned in Egyptian prisons as part of the national campaign for vaccination against the Corona epidemic.
The “defense” team – which is the name of the human rights office that filed the case – had submitted warnings to the appealed officials, to no avail, according to a statement by the office, and a lawsuit was filed to oblige them to vaccinate the appellants and all those who are deposited in Egyptian prisons.
These efforts were preceded by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, a local human rights organization, to issue a warning to the Minister of Interior in his capacity, and his request to enable prison inmates who are convicted and preventive detainees to register to receive the Corona vaccine in prisons and places of detention quickly, fearing for their lives and the general health of society in light of A succession of more severe waves of the virus and a succession of high infections and deaths, and respect for their right to health, as they are among the groups most vulnerable to infection due to the conditions of confinement in closed places and the impossibility of physical distancing, according to the organization’s statement. 2
The organization’s lawyers submitted the communication on behalf of the organization’s researcher, Patrick George Michael Zaki, the political prisoner held in pretrial detention in the Tora prison complex pending the case, 1766 in 2019, Supreme State Security since February 2020.
The statement pointed out that the Minister of Health, Hala Zayed, promised – in a televised intervention – to make vaccinations available to groups in closed places such as nursing homes and prisons, but the Ministry of Interior and its prison authority, until the time of issuing the warning, did not announce the start of vaccinating prisoners and detainees, or the number of injuries. And the rates of recovery and death from the Corona virus in prisons and places of detention.
The organization stated that the warning is a prelude to a lawsuit against the government.
The statement stressed that despite the limited amount of vaccines available in Egypt so far, the Ministry of Health has recently expanded the distribution of the vaccine nationwide, without being restricted to giving priority to groups most vulnerable to infection with the virus, including prisoners and pretrial detainees.
The statement referred to the World Health Organization’s road map to determine the priority of providing the vaccine in the context of limited supplies, published last October, which indicates that “prisoners and remand prisoners are among the groups most vulnerable to acquiring and transmitting infection, due to their meeting in crowded and closed places where it is difficult. Observe physical distancing. “
The organization stressed its demand for the speedy provision of vaccines, free of charge, voluntarily, and without discrimination to prisoners and pretrial detainees, in light of transparent and open procedures.
And it demanded that the Minister of Health issue a decision to provide the anti-Coronavirus vaccine to prisoners and detainees, provided that it is granted according to the ad hoc protocol.
It also demanded that the Minister of Interior issue a decision to enable prisoners to receive the vaccine, and to allocate places inside prisons and prepare them to be suitable medical centers to administer the vaccine.
In its warning to the Minister of Interior, the Egyptian Organization said that the state is solely responsible for providing health care to prisoners, as Article 18 of the Egyptian Constitution promulgated in 2014 states that “every citizen has the right to health and to integrated health care in accordance with quality standards, and it criminalizes refraining from providing treatment in all its forms. For each person in situations of emergency or life danger. “
The Egyptian Initiative affirmed that making vaccinations available to prisoners and vaccinating them is not an indispensable luxury, but rather a necessity and priority for public health, and a commitment that the government has for several reasons, including protecting the lives of prisoners as they are among the groups most vulnerable to complications from the virus and in light of the extremely weak health service facilities inside prisons, and because they are not They are able to register themselves from inside their places of detention, similar to prison staff.
Activists stood in solidarity with the lawsuit, stressing the prisoners’ right and priority to receive vaccinations.