‘Egyptian Jails Are Hotels and Resorts’; Muslim Preacher Claims on TV

Published August 15th, 2021 - 08:08 GMT
Khaled El-Gendy
Khaled El-Gendy is a member of the Supreme Council For Islamic Affairs. (Twitter)

A conversation aired on an Egyptian TV channel recently has stirred controversy across the country, as a well-known Muslim preacher compared the country's jails and prisons with hotels and resorts.

During the TV appearance in a religious talk show on DMC, Khaled El-Gendy talked to three other Muslim figures about his participation in a celebration of Islamic New Year, one that was organized by the Ministry of Interior's Social Protection Department.

El-Gendy spoke positively about the experience, saying that the new public policy towards jails and prisons is revolutionary, starting by changing prisons' names into "social protection units," ones that host guests rather than prisoners.

Translation: "Khaled El-Gendy: prisons restore peoples' energy and vitality. I hope you get a 25-year solitary sentence at the Scorpion prison"

He went on to say that people should understand that prison experiences are similar to the ones people have at hotels and resorts, in terms of it being places where "individuals restore their social roles."

As soon as El-Gendy's interview ended, social media users widely shared his words, condemning his attitude and calling it "an attempt to justify the country's lack of freedoms."

Online commentators rejecting his claims referred to several cases in which political prisoners have died while spending time in jail over the last 8 years, including many young ones. 

According to a report released by Human Rights Watch last December, at least 14 prisoners have died at the notorious Scorpion prison since 2015.

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