Update: Rights council urges authorities to hospitalize Ahmed Douma
The National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) is urging prison authorities to provide hunger-striking detainee Ahmed Douma with immediate medical attention and transfer him to a hospital so his condition can be monitored, reported the state-owned news site EgyNews.
The council issued its recommendation after visiting hunger-striking inmates at Tora Prison in response to complaints from Douma’s family that the activist’s health was in danger.
On Tuesday, Douma's wife Norhan Hefzy stated that her husband’s condition was rapidly deteriorating. Douma has been on hunger strike for eight days, along with two other April 6 Youth Movement members, who are striking in solidarity with Alaa Abd El Fattah as part of the “We are fed up” campaign denouncing prison conditions and visiting rights.
Douma was sentenced to three years in jail for breaking the Protest Law. An appeal against the ruling was filed by the late Ahmed Seif al-Islam, but no date has been set for a retrial.
Fellow detainee Mohamed Abdel Rahman, known as Nouby, is also in need of medical attention due to consistently low blood pressure that could put him at risk for a coma, the NCHR warned.
“Despite the care provided by the Prison Authority to the hunger striking detainees … the treatment provided has to collate with each of their conditions,” the council’s statement said, according to EgyNews.
The council also called on the public prosecution to look into requests to release inmates being held on temporary detention pending trials or investigations.
A wave of hunger strikes has swept Egypt’s prisons in recent months, involving at least 23 detainees and prompting varying responses from the authorities. Hunger-striking journalist Abdallah al-Shamy was released from custody in June due to poor health, but Mohamed Soltan, currently on his 221st day of hunger strike, is still languishing in prison.
Also on Thursday, activist and human rights lawyer Mona Seif and her mother Laila Soueif announced on Facebook the start of an open-ended hunger strike in support of hunger-striking political detainees, including family members Alaa Abd El Fattah and Sanaa Seif.
Mona Seif said the decision was postponed due to the deteriorating health of her father Ahmed Seif al-Islam Abdel Fattah, who passed away on August 27.
“Father left our world and those left, Alaa and Sanaa, are wrongfully imprisoned,” she wrote on Facebook.
Seif added that they filled a report today with the general prosecutor, informing him of their hunger strike, which will continue until Alaa, Sanaa and others detained under the Protest Law are released.
Sanaa Seif, the 20-year-old sister of Alaa and Mona was arrested while protesting the imprisonment of her brother, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison.