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American citizen on hunger strike in Cairo prison

Mohamed Soltan, son of a Muslim Brotherhood figure, has been on hunger strike for just over 100 days and is the only dual American-Egyptian citizen detained in Egyptian prisons. After graduating from Ohio State University, he moved to Egypt in 2012 to join his mother, who was undergoing cancer treatment, and got a job in an Egyptian petroleum services company.

He was arrested two weeks after the August 14 Rabaa Al-Adawiya massacre last year when police stormed his house and arrested him while he was recovering from a gunshot wound to his arm which he sustained during the dispersal of the sit-in.

Soltan, along with his father Salah Soltan, and approximately 50 Egyptians including the Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohammed Badie, is being charged with helping run an “operations room” organising demonstrations and attacks after the security forces dispersed the pro-Morsi sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square last August. However, when Soltan first appeared before an Egyptian judge on January 26, 2014, the Egyptian public prosecutor had no evidence to incriminate him, but the judge still renewed his detention. He is being held as a political prisoner and has decided to go on a hunger strike until he is released.

On his 101st day of hunger strike, Soltan’s greatly deteriorating health warranted an emergency visit to Tora Prison by the Egypt interior minister’s aide. He ordered Soltan be transferred to an external hospital for necessary treatment.

At exactly 1pm on May 7, 2014, the El-Hussein University Hospital reception was stormed by a group of men who evacuated all the doctors and nurses. Staff were surprised to find a prisoner, whose health condition had greatly deteriorated, being wheeled in on a wheelchair, surrounded by 12 guards and a number of officers.

The guards allowed one doctor to enter the room and tend to Soltan. The doctor needed the assistance of four people to carry Mohamed out of the chair and move him to the examination table in order to conduct the necessary medical examinations. The results of these examinations were:

· Severe deterioration in his health condition

· Serious weight loss

· Copious amounts of blood in urine

· High INR level (8), while normal levels range between 0.8-1.2. Such high levels indicate that the patient is prone to bleeding from any part of their body

· Low blood sugar level (.58)

· Low blood pressure (90/60)

· Low body temperature (34C)

· Low heart rate (60)

According to one of the doctors treating Mohamed, he arrived at the hospital with an IV drip in his hand and he was given medication at Tora Prison Hospital before being transferred to El-Hussein Hospital. This suggests his condition was critical before arriving at the hospital.

#FreeSoltan

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