‘It would spread quickly in those cells’: Covid-19 imperils packed Egypt prison

Families of prisoners at notorious Tora complex concerned publicised efforts to contain virus are purely cosmetic

Fears are mounting over the safety of prisoners in Egypt’s notorious Tora prison, as rights groups say parts of the complex have been cordoned off to quarantine those diagnosed with coronavirus.

Families of those held inside the huge compound south of Cairo, which houses at least eight individual prisons, including two maximum security wings, say the authorities’ attempts to combat the spread of Covid-19 inside Tora are at best cosmetic. “Things have been erratic since they banned visits in March,” said Mona Seif, whose brother, the activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, has been detained in at the prison since September.

Related: ‘It’s a disaster’: Egypt’s doctors plead for more PPE and testing

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