After over two months in remand detention, political activist and prominent blogger Wael Abbas was issued a renewed 15-day detention order by the Supreme State Security Prosecution on Sunday, pending further investigations into Case 441/2018. During a Sunday court hearing, the prosecution also ordered that Abbas be transferred to the Tora Prison Hospital, after he reported suffering from a chronic health condition, according to Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) lawyer Mohamed Fathy.
Abbas, who has been in remand detention since his May 23 arrest, told the prosecution during the Sunday court hearing that he suffers from a heart condition and is experiencing shortness of breath due to overcrowding in his cell at Tora Prison. The prosecution had previously ordered the activist’s transfer to the prison hospital during Abbas’ last detention renewal court session on July 18. However, prison administrators failed to implement prosecution’s first decision, the ECESR lawyer explained to Mada Masr.
Abbas has been diagnosed with mitral valve regurgitation, a chronic heart condition, his sister Rasha told Mada Masr, adding that the family noticed a deterioration in his health while visiting him in prison two weeks ago. During the visit, Abbas told his family that he was experiencing chest pains, even though prison administrators had began dispensing his medication to him on a regular basis by then, having prevented him from accessing it when he was first detained. Abbas also suffers from shortness of breath and gastroesophageal reflux disease, according to his sister.
Abbas, who is known for blogging about protests and documenting police brutality, was arrested during a raid on his home at dawn on May 23. The Arab Network for Human Rights Information reported that security personnel confiscated computers, phones, books and the blogger’s personal belongings, before blindfolding him and transferring him to an unknown location and preventing him from contacting his lawyer.
He faces charges of aiding a terrorist group in the achievement of its aims, using a website to propagate a terrorist group’s ideology and publishing false news in relation to Case 441/2018.
The case in which he is involved also includes a diverse array of defendants arrested in past months, among them journalists Mostafa al-Asar and Hassan al-Banna, lawyer and head of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms Ezzat Ghoneim, Fatemah Mohamed, her husband Abdallah Moddar and her brother Omar Mousa, and PhD student Walid al-Shobaky.