“Make Yourself at Prison”: A guide on arrest, investigation and prisons for meeting the needs of democracy defenders in Egypt


Today, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) releases a legal guide which includes answers to the most important questions that came into the minds of thousands, if not millions, of citizens. The guide highlights the issue of the potential fate of prison, which has become so close to defenders of democracy in Egypt.

The 8000-word guide, entitled “Make Yourself at Prison”, is prepared by human rights lawyer and former prisoner of conscience “Haitham Mohammaden”. Prominent media worker “Yousri Fouda” introduced four sections of this guidebook, which cover the different situations faced by any detainee in Egypt: “Being stopped/detained, arrested, interrogated in the police station and Public Prosecution, in addition to the conditions of detention in police stations. The final sections of the guide discuss the treatment in prisons during the pretrial detention period or following the anti-freedom ruling, along with the prisoners’ needs and general tips, besides two testimonies by former prisoners of conscience.

“Make Yourself at Prison” comes at time when there is an apparent expansion in building new prisons in Egypt, as a result of the steady increase in the number of detainees from all political backgrounds whose freedom is being curbed- among other reasons. As the introduction of the book says: “There is no difference between being a fan of some Ultras groups so that you would be detained to be prevented  from supporting your team, and from being a student who is kidnapped to be banned from engaging in a student activity. There is no difference between being a worker who wants to exercise his constitutional right to stage a strike, or being among those who are interested in politics, and hence you may face a fate that is worse than imprisonment, as you may be subject to enforced disappearance”.

ANHRI says “In light of political conditions, under which judges are brought to trial because they took part in making an anti-torture draft law, or that a National Security officer mentions in the indictment that a human rights organization is condemning the prolonged pretrial detention period constituting it an accusation, it has become necessary that every democracy defender, opponent, or critic is provided with information concerning his real legal status, what he can do if he get arrested, as well as the police station detention centers and prisons’ jails, and what he should do in case he is referred to each of them”.

Besides the printed copy that ANHRI has started to distribute, you can upload an electronic version of the guidebook through the following link:

Make Yourself at Prison “Summary”



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