The British woman sentenced to three years in a notorious Egyptian jail will have to bribe inmates to get a bed and will only be allowed out of her cell twice a week, according to a former inmate.
Pete Farmer, 45, was locked up in the cockroach-infested Al Qanater prison for two years before his release in November.
Tourist Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, was moved to the Cairo prison to begin her three-year jail term on Saturday after she was arrested for carrying 290 banned painkillers.
Pete, from Essex, said she will be forced to sleep on the floor in a crowded cell – or rent a bed from a ‘lifer’ for up to 400 illegal smuggled cigarettes a month.
Tourist Laura Plummer, 33, from Hull, was moved to the Cairo prison to begin her three-year jail term on Saturday after she was arrested carrying 290 banned painkillers. A fellow Briton who spent time in Al Qanater said Laura will be forced to sleep on the floor and bribe other inmates for a bed. Left and right: Pictures from inside the shabby jail
Pictured: Women prisoners look out a barred window of Al-Qanater prison in Cairo. The notorious jail is said to be overcrowded and cockroach-infested
Laura (left) will have to buy the protection of the guards or other prisoners to ensure her safety, and won’t be allowed any visitors for the first 15 days, Pete claims. Right: The drinking water tap located just above the hole in the floor toilet, in a typical cell of the Al Qanater prison
He said she’ll only be allowed out of her cell for an hour or two every three days, and will have to wear a long white dress with an Islamic head covering.
She’ll have to buy the protection of the guards or other prisoners to ensure her safety, and won’t be allowed any visitors for the first 15 days, he claims.
Speaking from Essex, where he is staying with family, Pete said: ‘The worst bit of her entire time, she might well have just endured during the transfer there.
‘It will have been eight to ten hours in the back of a baking hot lorry with no stops.
‘There will have been 30 others stuffed in, with all the heat and all the sweat and urine, trapped in this metal box.
‘If someone throws up it just runs all over the floor for the rest of the journey.
Pete explained: ‘As a foreigner, she won’t be allowed to work because she hasn’t got a work visa, so she will have to rely on outside donations.’ Pictured: The shower and bunks in the prison
‘And that’s before she even gets there.
‘It has been said there are 1,000 women in the prison. It’s more like 5,000.’
He said she will spend her first ten days in an ‘entry section’ where prisoners are kept to prevent weapons being smuggled in, before she is assigned a cell.
He added: ‘She’ll have to rent a bunk bed because there are so many women, there just aren’t enough beds to go round.
Pete Farmer inside the prison at al-Qanater in Egypt
‘It will be 200 to 400 cigarettes a month. The lifers control the beds. It’s their way to get an income.
‘It will be that or sleep on the floor.
‘As a foreigner, she won’t be allowed to work because she hasn’t got a work visa, so she will have to rely on outside donations.
‘Any money her family brings in she can put on her account to buy things from the canteen.
‘She will be able to buy water, little bottles of coke, biscuits, things like that, but the prison food is terrible. It’s rice, rice and rice.
‘Cigarettes are the real currency.
‘The prison is so corrupt and certain prisoners somehow get enormous amounts of cigarettes in, and the guards are paid a cut to turn a blind eye while they sell them or trade them.
‘Someone in there will have a freezer and they will rent out a space for around three Egyptian pounds a day.
‘She will be given minimal clothing – a long white dress and head covering too.
‘She can pay to have someone to watch the door while she’s in the bathroom, or whenever, and even the guards to not give her so much of a hard time.’