The prison’s name and origin
The “Mostaqbal” police station was established in 2002 in Ismailia governorate under the name “deportations” to be a unit for deportations only for prisoners before their transfer to public prisons. It had a capacity of nearly 150 prisoners at the time. Then, in 2017, a new decision was issued to designate it to become a central prison carrying the name “Mostaqbal” as it was named after the “Mostaqbal” city close to Abu Sawir area in Ismailia governorate. The prison involves all kinds of prisoners: pretrial detainees, criminals, and political prisoners.
The prison is located in the west of Ismailia governorate, about 10 kilometers from the city center, and is established on 10 acres of land. The prison’s capacity was about 150 inmates, but now it holds more than 450 inmates, i.e. three times its original capacity. (1)
The prison’s popularity
In spite of its small size, the “Mostaqbal” Prison has gained wide popularity due to the increasing number of its escape attempts, to the extent that if you google ” Mostaqbal Prison”, the news of its escape attempts will top your research results as well as the court rulings issued against its fugitives or those involved in helping fugitives flee the prison.
Who are the prison inmates?
1- Those who are accused of Port Said Massacre in “Al-Masry” sporting club
2- Those who are accused of Sharm el-Sheikh bombings
3- Some of the dangerous takfiri and terrorist elements
Additionally, all police departments and stations in Ismailia governorate place their very dangerous defendants in Al-Mustaqbal Central Prison despite the lack of its capacity for prisoners, its poor capabilities and the small number of its wards. Some internal sources in the prison have reported that some of the prison’s defendants are locked up on the prison corridors without iron shackles because there are insufficient wards to accommodate the number of defendants arriving there, especially in the absence of the Security Directorate’s inspection of the prison. (2)
The most salient incidents related to Al-Mustaqbal Prison:
- Inmates escaped from Mostaqbal Prison in Ismailia
After a mass escape attempt from Ismailia Mostaqbal Prison failed during the January 25 revolution; due to the prison’s close proximity to the leadership of the Second Army, it was found that two of the Mostaqbal Prison’s most dangerous inmates fled prison. The two prisoners, named Khaled Riad and Suleiman Zaid Hasan Al-Qadi, were sentenced to death over different charges. The first one is convicted of storming, setting fire to and sabotaging the Abu Sawyer police station in connection to Case No. 3584 of 2013 Qantara West Felonies, in addition to receiving several judicial rulings, while the second fugitive is sentenced to death after being convicted of the crimes of premeditated murder, coerced theft and road blocks in connection to Case No. 3720 of 2014 Ismailia Felonies.
Initial investigations into the case indicated the involvement of two low-ranking police officers from the “Deportations” Police Department’s officers after receiving a monetary bribe in return. (3)
As a result of the prison escape, the Abu Sawyer Misdemeanor Court ruled on January 10, 2015 to imprison 12 officers and a low-ranking police officer at Al-Mustaqbal Prison for a period of 3 years, while obliging them to pay a fine of 5,000 Egyptian pounds per person. (4)
The ruling included: the former Ismailia Security Assistant Director, the prison’s head and his deputy in addition to 7 of the low-ranking police officers responsible for securing the prison wards and its internal and external gates and the investigating officers, who were accused of committing gross negligence that harmed the prison and breaching the regulations and laws related to the Prison Authority, making the number of the defendants involved in the case reach 16.
- ‘The Great Escape’ Case
On 20 October 2016, Al-Mustaqbal Prison was subjected to a mass escape; as one of its inmates pretended to be ill and when the security officer opened the ward’s door, he grabbed his weapon and shot him in the foot. (5) Although the operation was thwarted by the security services and 7 inmates were arrested, 6 others managed to escape. The fugitives included takfirists and criminals along with 4 members of the “Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis”(Jerusalem Supporters) organization, and they managed to flee with the help of some people from outside the prison, and while chasing them, they killed a citizen and a police officer.
On 12 July 2018, Ismailia Criminal Court sentenced 13 suspects of the prison escape to death (6 in presence and 7 in absentia). The defendants are: Ahmed Shehata Muhammad (imprisoned- from the “Jerusalem Supporters” organization), Odeh Darwish Ali (fugitive- from the “Jerusalem Supporters” organization), Salah Said Lafi (fugitive- from the “Jerusalem Supporters” organization), Yasser Eid Zeid (fugitive), Awad Allah Musa Ali (imprisoned), Ahmed Younis Mohamed (imprisoned), Ibrahim Saleh Hassan, aka “Sheikh Ibrahim”, Awaid Salama Ayed, aka ” Sheikh Awaid” (imprisoned), Yasser Mahmoud Mohamed al- Muzaini (imprisoned), Hussein Eid Odeh Abu Zina “fugitive”, Kamal Eid Odeh Abu Zina “fugitive”, Fayez Eid Odeh Allah Abu Zina “fugitive” and Abdullah Saeed Saad Lafi “fugitive”. (6)
- ‘Port Said Massacre’ case prisoners
The case dates back to the incidents took place in Port Said stadium on the first of February 2012 following the Al-Ahly vs. Al-Masry match, which claimed the lives of more than 70 people from the Al-Ahly sporting club in what is known in the media as “Port Said massacre”, an incident that has been shrouded in mystery until now.
Immediately after the incident, the Governor of Port Said submitted his resignation, and the Director of Security and the Director of the Investigation were suspended, and the entire Football Association Council board members were dismissed and referred to investigation. In the meantime, many protests were organized in Cairo and Egypt’s different governorates expressing the anger of thousands of citizens and demanding the dismissal of the government as well as the restructuring of the Ministry of Interior, to which some have attributed responsibility for the incidents.
On the other hand, Ashraf Thabet, the deputy speaker of parliament, announced in its initial report released on 12 February 2012 that the most of fatalities and injuries were due to the stampede and suffocation of the victims, affirming that the security forces were not instructed to confront the riots. The report also stated that the sports channels are responsible for inciting the masses and hence contributed to what happened.
On 14 April 2012, the first trial hearing was convened in the “Port Said massacre” case, in which 73 persons accused of involvement in the violence incidents dated back to the 1st of February were tried. During the hearing, which was considered a procedural one, the defendants’ defense requested that the trial be transferred from the Police Academy in Cairo to Port Said city out of concern and fear for the lives of the defendants.
On 12 December 2012, Port Said Criminal Court set the sentencing hearing in the trial of 73 defendants, 9 police commands at the Port Said Security Directorate, and ordered a publication ban which prohibited the media from disseminating information about the case.
These incidents were followed by some demonstrations organized by the fans of both Al-Ahly Club and Al-Masry sporting clubs in Cairo and Port Said governorates demanding the acquittal of El-Masry Club fans and retribution for victims of the massacre from the Al-Ahly Club fans.
On 26 January 2013, 10 months after continuous hearings, Port Said Criminal Court ruled to transfer the papers of 21 defendants to the Mufti of the Republic while adjourning the sentencing hearing against the rest of the defendants.
After the verdicts were handed down against the defendants of “Port Said Massacre” case, clashes erupted between the defendants’ families and the security forces in charge of securing the trial. These clashes resulted in the killing of 22 people and wounding of dozens.
Thereafter, on 9 March 2013, the case’s defendants were transferred to Al-Mustaqbal Prison in Ismailia governorate, with intense security presence around the prison. (7)
On 7 May 2013, the then-Public Prosecutor Talaat Abdullah appealed before the Court of Cassation against the death sentences issued in the case asserting- in the appeal memorandum which he submitted- that the ruling failed to the state the cause of the massacre referring to corruption in the reasoning of the ruling. He added that the grounds of the judgment are inconsistent since they are the same grounds/ reasons for the innocence of some of the defendants in the case.
The appeal was then set for adjudication at the hearing of 6 February 2014, when the court ordered a retrial of all the defendants before a different circuit other than the one that issued the previous ruling.
On 20 February 2017, 10 of the case defendants were sentenced to death in a final and non-appealable verdict. (8)
- “Al-Masry Al-Youm” newspaper- A news report entitled “Al-Mostaqbal Prison: from a deportation point to a prison that involves the most severe criminal elements”- Publication date: -30-7-2014- Last accessed on: 20-5-2020- https://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/491649?fbclid=IwAR1qQFplmkIufuSbqbW8fIQdvMo6xFbfsMIwlXP
- The same previous source
- “Sout Al-Omma” newspaper- A news report entitled “The trial of the two low-ranking police officers accused of smuggling prisoners from Ismailia’s Al- Mostaqbal Prison adjourned”- Publication date: 26 May 2018.- Last accessed on: 21 May 2020- http://www.soutalomma.com/Article/811782/%D8%AA%D8%A3%D8%AC%D9%8A%D9%84-%D9%85%D8%AD%D8%A7 % D9% 83% D9% 85% D8% A9-% D8% A3% D9% 85% D9% 8A% D9% 86% D9% 8A-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D8% B4% D8% B1 % D8% B7% D8% A9-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D9% 85% D8% AA% D9% 87% D9% 85% D9% 8A% D9% 86-% D8% A8% D8% AA % D9% 87% D8% B1% D9% 8A% D8% A8-% D9% 85% D8% B3% D8% A7% D8% AC% D9% 8A% D9% 86-% D9% 85% D9% 86 -% D8% B3% D8% AC% D9% 86-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D9% 85% D8% B3% D8% AA% D9% 82% D8% A8% D9% 84? Fbclid = IwAR2uIaCq3LBHmZJWRxlXMP0Zl078Bhbxwx6
- “Masrawy” newspaper-A news report entitled “Legal source: The verdict in “Al-Mostaqbal Prison” case won’t be mitigated… The two main suspects are referred to the criminal court”- Publication date: 10 January 2015- Last accessed on: May 21, 2020- https://www.masrawy.com/news/news_regions/details/2015/1/10/426571/%D9%85%D8%B5%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%B1-%D9 % 82% D8% A7% D9% 86% D9% 88% D9% 86% D9% 8A% D8% A9-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D8% AD% D9% 83% D9% 85-% D9 % 81% D9% 8A-% D9% 82% D8% B6% D9% 8A% D8% A9-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D9% 85% D8% B3% D8% AA% D9% 82% D8 % A8% D9% 84-% D9% 84% D9% 8A% D8% B3-% D9% 85% D8% AE% D9% 81% D9% 81% D8% A7-% D9% 88% D8% A5% D8% AD% D8% A7% D9% 84% D8% A9-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D9% 85% D8% AA% D9% 87% D9% 85% D9% 8A% D9% 86-% D8% A7% D9% 84% D8% B1% D8% A6% D9% 8A% D8% B3% D9% 8A% D9% 8A% D9% 86-% D9% 84% D9% 84% D8% AC% D9 % 86% D8% A7% D9% 8A% D8% A7% D8% AA? FbclidIwAR29Q08dSNUMzq2UgW2aG7TFlKSUaeWI6sDRQjI24VDFfl_tBfaaf784CYc
- “Masrawy” newspaper- A news report entitled “Started with betrayal and ended with death sentence…The trial of the Great Escape case defendants”- Publication date: 12 June 2018- Last accessed on: 25 May 2020-
- “Al-Wafd” newspaper- A news report entitled “13 suspects of the “Mostaqbal Prison Escape” case sentenced to death”- Publication date: 12 July 2018- Last accessed on: May 25, 2020- https://m.alwafd.news/%D8%AD%D9%88%D8%A7%D8%AF%D8%AB-%D9%88%D9%82%D8%B6%D8%A7%D9%8A%D8%A7/1930444-%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%AD%D9%83%D9%85-%D8%A8%D8%A7%D9%84%D8%A5%D8%B9%D8%AF%D8%A7%D9%85-%D8%B9%D9%84%D9%89-13-%D9%85%D8%AA%D9%87%D9%85%D9%8B%D8%A7-%D9%81%D9%8A-%D9%82%D8%B6%D9%8A%D8%A9-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%87%D8%B1%D9%88%D8%A8-%D9%85%D9%86-%D8%B3%D8%AC%D9%86-%D8%A7%D9%84%D9%85%D8%B3%D8%AA%D9%82%D8%A8%D9%84?fbclid=IwAR1_LvH3uy-jXIerChN-0S72CpencZJHaG3fvcO-figz0nIBGcPOpVbHA44
- “Al-Masry Al-Youm” newspaper- A news report entitled “10 suspects of “Port Said Massacre” were poisoned inside the prison in Ismailia”- Publication date: May 13, 2015- Last accessed on: May 21, 2020- https://www.almasryalyoum.com/news/details/731469?fbclid=IwAR1z4KQ3_Sj6B9wGKsPZ8DsEXNyDOL4zfvGgmYF7Zov58zbXftUkac8NXs8
- BBC news website- A news report entitled ” Chronology of the “Port Said Massacre” case”- Publication date: 20 February 2017- Last accessed on: May 21, 2020- https://www.bbc.com/arabic/sports-39028015