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Health Release in Egypt By The Legal Research

Enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of physical and mental health
Health definition mentioned in The Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Prisoners should be provided with means of accessing health services available in the country without legal position-based discrimination.

The main principles of treating prisoners according to the Resolution of UN General Assembly in December 1990.

Article no.36
Each sentenced has proven to be infected by a disease that threatens his life or disables him totally after being examined by the doctor; the matter has to be presented to the head of medical department of prisons to examine him in participation with the medical examiner to consider his release. The release decision has to be implemented after being approved by the general manager of the prisons and after the agreement of the Attorney General, then the administration and the competent prosecution are to be notified. The competent administration where the prisoner is released should present the prisoner to be examined by the official doctor every six months and submits a report about his health status to be sent to the prisons department, and if he is proven to be colluded, the release decision will be cancelled if necessary. The general manager of the prisons may assign a head for the medical department of the prisons and a medical examiner to examine the released to write a report about his health status whenever he sees that. The released prisoner may be returned to prison to fulfill his sentenced punishment, uttered by the Attorney General, if the previously mentioned committee finds out that he is totally recovered and if he changes his address without notifying the competent administrative body. The period spent outside prison is to be deducted from the punishment period.

Prisons Organization law no. 396 of 1956

Health Release
If the prison’s doctor proves that the sentenced is infected by a disease that threatens his life or disabled him totally; the matter has to be presented to the head of medical department of prisons to examine him in participation with the medical examiner to consider his release after the agreement of the Attorney General. The release decision has to be implemented after being approved by the general manager of the prisons department and after the agreement of the Attorney General. The competent administration where the prisoner is released should present the prisoner to be examined by the official doctor every six months and submits a report about his health status to be sent to the prisons department. The general manager of the prisons may assign a head for the medical department of the prisons and a medical examiner to examine the released to report his health status whenever he sees that. The released is to be returned to the prison if the previously mentioned committee finds out that he is totally recovered and if he changes his address without notifying the competent administrative body. The period spent outside prison is to be deducted from the punishment period.

Article no. 486 of criminal procedures law states that if the sentenced infected by a disease that threatens his life, or the punishment implementation may threaten his life, the punishment implementation may be delayed and the prosecution should assign the medical examiner to examine him. If it is proven that he is infected by the disease, the punishment implementation may be delayed, in the case that the sentenced has not been deposited in prison. But if he infected by the disease after deposited in the prison, the matter is to be presented to the head of the medical department of the prison to examine him in participation with the medical examiner to consider health release for him. This decision is to be implemented after being approved by the general manager of prison department and agreement of the Attorney General. The period he spends outside prison is to be considered from his punishment period. If the sentenced goes berserk, the punishment implementation should be delayed till be recovered, and the prosecution may order to put him in mental hospital. The period he spends there for treatment is considered from his punishment period. The criminal court does not have the right to issue a sentence against that of the medical examiner from the Attorney General.

Conditions of Health Release
1- The prisoner is infected by a disease that threatens his life.
2- The prisoner is totally paralyzed.
3- Committee of head of medical department of the prisons and medical examiner.
4- The release decision should be approved by the manager of prisons department.
5- The agreement of the Attorney General.

The legal articles that stated health release
Article no. 58
Each sentenced, has a restricting punishment, has been proven to be infected by a disease that threatens his life or totally paralyzed him; then the matter is to be presented to the doctor of the health unit of the prison to examine him and treat him or give him health release. If his status requires a health release, then the prisoner has to be examined by the general medical qomcion in the Ministry of Health to approve the decision of the health release of the prisoner.

Article no. 59
The health release decision issued from the Ministry of Interior, based on the prisons’ head presentation and the approval of medical qomcion in the Ministry of Health on health release for the prisoner. The release decision should include commissioning the prison doctor to examine the released at least once every three months and report his health status to the prison officer. If the report reveals that he has recovered from the disease that led to his release, then the matter has to be presented to medical the qomcion in the Ministry of Health to be approved.

Article no. 60
The released prisoner may be returned to prison to fulfill his punishment period according to a decision by the Ministry of Interior, based on the prisons’ head presentation and the approval of the general medical qomcion on the report of the prison’s doctor that he has recovered from the disease because of which he had health release. The period the spent outside the prison by the released prisoner is considered from the punishment period of the prisoner.

Real Examples
Abo Bakr Ahmed Hanafy (46 years old), Zaky Abo El Magd Al Hanafy Magd (54 years old) and Mahmoud Abd El Razik Al Shafe Al Rouby (27 years old) died because of negligence and lack of suitable treatment inside Egyptian prisons. The reports reveal that during 2014 “more than 95 prisoners died in prisons because of torture or lack of treatment. The authorities disregarding of this issue makes them co-responsible for their death. In addition, the prisons administration uses overcrowding, dirtiness and violence as means of pressure on prisoners. Sometimes, demanding health care is complicated than the disease because of which the prisoner needs a doctor. The law that regulates the prisoners’ examination by the prison’s doctor is far from being applied especially with the overcrowding of the prisons and inadequate number of doctors and nurses (if there) in comparison to the prisoners’ number.
Besides, sometimes complicating the procedures is the main obstacle in front of the prisoner to get the necessary health care. Deceleration or preventing health care is used as punishment by the prison’s officers. The prisoner’s position and money also play a role, in addition to mediation, in gaining the cooperation of the prison’s officers to get health services. So the rich are more fortunate inside prison as they are outside it. On other hand, the poor are subjected to the various moods of the prison’s officers. This was the case of S.M who could not make checks on his heart when infected by angina, but when threatened the prison’s officers with complaining them and using his relations with the influential.

The Problems of Health Release in Egypt
– The prisoner may be infected by chronic diseases during the implementation of his punishment in the Egyptian prisons.
– Health release is used as means of escaping punishment (in some cases).
– Non-activation of medical committee opinion concerning health release.
– Resorting to jurisdiction to get judicial provision of health release.
– Slow litigation (Ministry of Interior delaying – appealing the decision of the medical committee and assigning another committee; this takes long time during the litigation the matter which threatens the patient’s life).
– Ministry of Interior prevents the implementation of health release (it is should firstly resorting to direct misdemeanor to implement the health release).
– Lack of health files of prisoners and their health conditions.
– The prisons’ doctors subordinate to prisons department and not to doctors’ syndicate.
– The sentence “threatens his life” in the article of health release is indecisive.

Recommendations
– Implementing the decisions of the medical committee regarding health release.
– Periodical examination of prisoners.
– Defining the diseases that prevent punishment implementation (the punishment implementation should be stopped before the prisoner goes in his prison).
– Forming independent medical committee to investigate health release cases in the Egyptian prisons.
– The health release should not be a grant but a right guaranteed by law.
– Developing the hospitals affiliated to prisons department so that the health conditions of prisoners will not deteriorated.
– Creating medical file for each prisoner and to be followed up periodically.

Sample Case
The case M.A.S is deposited in Al Zakazik public prison and suffers from colon cancer. The case was visited in the prison to make sure that he infected by colon cancer by conducting x-rays and making medical reports, in addition to meet officers of medical department in the prison. We submitted a request to the competent bodies to refer the prisoner to Al Zakazik University Hospital. We also agreed with Sednawy Hospital in Al Zakazik to complete the chemotherapy. Besides, we agreed with Al Sharkaya Security Directorate to refer the case to the hospital. Currently we are in the process of completing the procedures of health release of the case by suing lawsuit in front of Council of State to get judicial provision of health release.

Statement Example

Sir consultant/
The Attorney General
Greetings
Submitted by the prisoner’s —————- wife/mother/ father
In the address —————————- deposited in the prison of ———————————
The case is in ———————- (date) the mentioned previously prisoner was arrested and was sentenced to be jailed for ————— years in the case no.———-. In —————- (date) his family visited him and discovered the deterioration of his health conditions. In this regard, we should note that article no. 36 of law no. 396 of 1956 regarding prisons organization states that ” Each sentenced has proven to be infected by a disease that threatens his life or disables him totally after being examined by the doctor; the matter has to be presented to the head of medical department of prisons to examine him in participation with the medical examiner to consider his release”. On the other hand, his family suffers from discomfort and costs of travelling to the prison where the prisoner is deposited as if they are also sentenced to sufferance and torture.
As the center fears that the prisoner’s life may be threatened and as it is prejudice against arresters and prisoners’ rights and their relatives and violating Egyptian law and constitutions and the international conventions and charters ratified by the Egyptian government, so the center kindly asks you to take the necessary procedures towards:
1- Depositing the mentioned prisoner in one of the hospital affiliated to prison department to for treatment.
2- Referring the prisoner to near prison to his residence to make his visit easy for his relatives (to be merciful towards them).
3- Referring the prisoner to Al Kasr Al Ainy hospitals for treatment and providence of possibilities.

Sincerely

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