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Profile: Dr Farid Ismail: Martyred parliamentarian and lawmaker (1957-2015)

Dr Farid Ismail was born on June 25, 1957, in Egypt’s Al-Sharqia Governorate. He worked as an independent pharmacist and was a member of the People’s Assembly and the Constituent Assembly tasked with writing Egypt’s constitution. He also served as the deputy of the National Security Committee, was a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Shura committee and a member of the Freedom and Justice Party’s Executive Office, in addition to serving in its administrative office in Al-Sharqia.

Dr Ismail was elected into the People’s Assembly in 2005 and then again in 2011, and was elected as a member of the Faculty of Pharmacy student union at Zagazig University. He was also elected as a member of the Al-Sharqia governorate’s Pharmacist Syndicate in three consecutive sessions.

Dr Ismail was arrested in September 2013 after the coup staged against deposed President Mohamed Morsi. He died in custody on Wednesday amid accusations of medical negligence by prison authorities.

Dr Ismail was known for his efforts in advocating for the people of his profession, in addition to serving in the Pharmacist Syndicate he represented the people of Faqoos in the People’s Assembly from 2005 to 2010. He was also on the administrative board of the Arab Region Parliamentarians Against Corruption.

Dr Ismail was the first parliamentarian to accuse Ahmed Nazif’s government of high treason and call for its prosecution for selling 650,000 square metres of land in Taba to an Israeli company. He also discovered many cases of corruption in the country.

Following the untimely death of Dr Ismail, Journalist Dr Usama Gawish, a presenter on Mekameleen television, called Ismail’s wife and she sent a message to the government saying: “we will not be defeated by death”. During the phone call, she denied that Dr Farid Ismail was ill and confirmed that he was in good health until recently, but that his health suddenly began to deteriorate.

Ismail’s wife, Aaesha Khairat Al-Shater, also said her husband denied suffering from cirrhosis, which is the official story told by the Ministry of Interior as the cause of his death.

“May God fight them like they are fighting the people,” she said of the current regime under Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

Al-Shater also said that prison officials left him in solitary confinement while in a coma, and instead of immediately rushing him to hospital, transported him to court for trial while still in a coma.

“He reached Zagazig Prison and his fellow inmates were yelling to save him and demanded that he be transferred to the university hospital. Instead he was taken, despite his state, to Cairo and they refused to immediately take him to the nearest hospital. He reached the hospital too late and was pronounce dead. They killed him; may God fight them and those who put them in power, helped them, and accepted their oppression. The military killed him in Aqrab Prison by leaving him to die in a coma without any medical attention. May God accept him as a martyr and may his blood be a curse on the coup gang,” she added.

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