Fifty-two Palestinian and Syrian refugees detained in Egypt are on hunger strike in protest at the conditions in which they are being held. As the group's health deteriorates after 5 days without food, five have been fainting. Some of the refugees are now hospitalised and one is said to be in a serious condition.
The refugees are in Montazah Prison and went on an open hunger strike on November 23 in protest at their continued detention under very bad conditions; they also demand to be allowed to go to a safe country. Spokesman Abu Alaa told the Safa news agency on Wednesday that the 5 hunger strikers who fainted are unable to move because of a serious drop in their blood pressure.
"They are being held in very bad conditions," he added. "We called the prison officers and asked for an ambulance to be made available immediately and they were transferred to hospital." However, the refugees were returned to the prison at midnight carrying medication, even though their health had not improved. "One is dying," said Abu Alaa.
The refugees say that they are determined to stay on hunger strike until their demands are met by the Egyptian authorities. They were visited on Monday by the Assistant Minister of the Interior who was unable to persuade them to end their protest.