From September 2020 to February 2021 alone, NYT estimated around 4,500 people were in pretrial detention limbo. But the paper reported that the true total is likely greater than the reporters’ estimate, which is only a partial snapshot of the system.
Local and international human rights groups estimate that Egypt has been holding as many as 60,000 political prisoners and detainees behind bars since president Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi took office.
However, according to The New York Times, “no public records exist of how many people are held in pretrial detention” but an analysis by the newspaper “of handwritten court logs, painstakingly kept by [Egyptian] volunteer defence lawyers, shows for the first time the number of individuals detained without trial and exposes the circular legal process that can keep them there indefinitely.”
The findings were reached by three NYT reporters: Vivian Yee, Allison McCann, and Josh Holder and published in a long report run on Saturday, the day Sisi met with US president Joe Biden in Jordan for the first time since the US president took office.
A day later, Egypt released an unspecified number of political dissidents.
The New York Times