Its establishment and location:

Qena Prison is one of the oldest prisons in Egypt. It was established at the end of the nineteenth century “1898” at the Al-Humaydat region in Qena Governorate, which has become one of the most crowded areas in the governorate. The prison is a few meters away from the Security Directorate headquarters and the Qena provincial government building (the governorate building). This close proximity to such governmental buildings causes a state of security tension. It also resulted in this prison being one of the most high security prisons in Egypt.

The prison building:

Qena Prison consists of only one ward that is distributed over four floors.

The first and second floors consist of nearly 64 relatively small cells each, while the third and fourth floors contain larger cells with 16 cells each.

Despite the prison’s small size, it includes a section for women and since it is an old prison it includes an execution/death chamber. And although it has been reported that there are calls to halt the execution of death sentences within its walls, the authorities carried out a death sentences against one of its inmates in it last December 2020.

Also, like many old prisons in Egypt, Qena Prison has no toilets inside its cells, forcing its inmates to defecate inside the cell in the evening.

The prison also holds pretrial detainees who wear white clothes alongside convicted people who wear blue clothes.

The prison’s close proximity to the Security Directorate has helped the authorities to quickly bring back the small number of prisoners who escaped from it after the January 2011 revolution.

The prison’s capacity:

Although the Qena Prison can hold up to only 1300 inmates, a number that may increase in times of crowdedness, Al-Masry Al-Youm astoundingly reported that 150 police personnel from the prison had gone on strike calling for the retention of the prison warden, which indicates that each police officer is assigned to less than 10 inmates making the prison’s security staff among the highest in terms of security procedures.

The prison’s inmates: 

The Qena General Prison’s inmates include many well-known political and criminal prisoners such as Mahmoud Badea, the Muslim Brotherhood group Guide, along with a large number of MB leading members such as Khairat Al-Shater.

Another example of the most famous inmates of the Qena Prison is the well-known British tourist “Laura Plumer”, who was convicted in 2017 of possessing narcotic drugs “tramadol” and was sentenced to three years in prison, but she only spent 13 months of the prison term before receiving a pardon and leaving Egypt.

There was also the famous new criminal of Upper Egypt known as “Al Hambouli” who was sentenced to 100 years in prison over many charges including hijacking the Luxor famous hot air balloon next to the Karnak Hotel.

The prison also held some of the defendants accused of Al-Hilaliya and Dabodia incidents in Aswan Governorate, in which dozens of residents were killed.

The Qena General Prison “Women Secttion” received a delegation from the National Council for Women’s Qena branch to provide psychological and moral support to the inmates and to check their living conditions and aspects of care provided to them.

The delegation visited the prison’s Women Annex to check their conditions of living and the level of rehabilitation provided to the inmates.

1—Qena Street news website, Published on: December 4, 2020, views on: April 2021

2- Al-Masry Al-Youm news website. Published on:December 5, 2012 Viewed on: April 2021