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Rights group: Lack of medical care threatens lives of 50 detainees in Egypt’sRights group: Lack of medical care threatens lives of 50 detainees in Egypt’s prisons

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights revealed that 50 detainees in Egyptian prisons could die as a result of medical negligence and should be released to receive the necessary health care.

The UK-based organisation said in a report yesterday that the family of one of the inmates, Hassan Khairi Abdel Ati, said in its complaint that “Hassan, born February 1 1973, suffers from cardiac disorders as a result of a blockage of his main artery, and therefore needs special medical care not available inside Banha General Prison, where he is being held. He needs regular visits to a physician for follow-up. However, the prison administration does not approve any of that. We cannot even make any complaints or report the problem to anybody due to obstacles put deliberately by authorities in the complaints process.”

The family of 18-year-old detainee Osama Yousef said: “Osama was arrested on April 26 2015 at his house, without an official warrant. He was still a minor at the time. But security forces took him to an unknown location and tortured him severely for 18 days, with excruciatingly painful methods including electrocution, which led to him suffering from recurring fits where he loses consciousness. He was transferred to Tora Prison hospital, where he was in a coma that lasted several days. He was then placed on a respirator.”

“Before the completion of his treatment, the prison administration transferred Osama to Wadi Natrun prison. They refused to transfer him to the hospital to complete his treatment, which has already caused a serious deterioration in his health condition.”

Also, the family of the lawyer Adel Abdel-Aziz, 52, said: “Medical reports confirm Adel suffers a coronary artery obstruction with the shortness of the heart muscle. However, Egyptian authorities still refuse to apply the law and release him on health grounds.”

Twenty-nine-year-old detainee Rami Mohamed Abdullah’s family said: “Rami suffered paraplegia since October 2015 as a result of severe torture inside a central security detention camp in Ismailia, where they electrocuted him all over his body, in addition to severe beatings with wooden sticks, iron bars and batons. Despite the very obvious deterioration of his health, the public prosecutor and the Interior Ministry refuses to release him on health grounds or to let him be seen by a tripartite committee according to the law.”

The organisation explained that Article 36 of the Egyptian Prisons Act provides that “all inmates who, according to prison doctors, suffer from a life-threatening disease or health condition or are severely disabled, must be reported to the prison’s medical section director to be examined by a team including the coroner, to consider his release. A release decision should be carried out after approval by the Director General of Prisons and the Public Prosecutor. The prison’s administration and competent prosecutors should be notified of such a release.”

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