• September 10, 2014
  • 5 minutes read

Egypt Jails Mean Slow Death for Political Detainees

Egypt Jails Mean Slow Death for Political Detainees

 In the prisons of Egypt, students, professors, politicians and others from all segments of Egyptian society face – in addition to detention since the July 3, 2013 military coup – a set of inhuman circumstances and total indifference to detainees’ health, pains and complaints, leaving some of them dying slowly without any help.

In the main prison of Qena (southern Egypt), a political detainee called Mahmoud Mohamed Murad Mohamed, 31, suffers very poor health.

Mahmoud Mohamed, who works as a geologist, was arrested in connection with the clashes of Aswan (southern Egypt) lawsuit. He was falsely charged of committing acts of violence.

Mahmoud Mohamed has been in Qena’s main prison for more than a year. He suffered an illness in the intestines due to subhuman prison conditions. He lost 60 kg of weight in 6 months. He was not offered any treatment in prison. According to those close to him, "Mahmoud is now near death".

Meanwhile, the family of another detainee called Abu-Bakr Al-Hanafi Al-Qadi said he needed special medical care, because he suffers from liver cancer. The family urged junta authorities to release him as his health deteriorated.

Asmaa Saif, the detainee’s wife, said "inmate management and the prison administration are severely intransigent and hostile against him although his illness is getting worse, especially because he has been on a hunger strike for two months".

She added that two months after submitting a request to the junta’s Public Prosecutor, her ill husband was transferred to a hospital for a CT scan. This showed a tumor on the liver. He was supposed to complete a set of laboratory tests in Assiut, but the prison administration stands vindictively in the way.

Salem Seif, student at the Faculty of Engineering – Sohag University, went on a hunger strike to protest his unjustified continuing imprisonment.

Seif said he was "not going to stop this hunger-strike until I get out of jail, the trumped-up charges are dropped and I get back to completing my studies".

Hunger strikes are the only means political detainees from all currents and affiliations opposed to the coup resort to in the face of blatant injustice and neglect in junta prisons.

Some of the other striking detainees are Mohamed Sultan, Ibrahim Yamani, Sanaa Seif and Alaa Abdel-Fattah.