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Medical negligence kills 427 prisoners in Egypt

Overcrowding, torture and medical neglect could lead to the death of thousands of Egyptians prisoners, the Arab Oragnisation for Human Rights UK (AOHR UK) has warned.

In a statement released today, AOHR UK said: "At least 517 detainees have died since the 3rd of July military coup, including 427 who died a direct outcome of medical neglect and inhumane conditions at detention centres."

The UK-based organisation said complaints are received from family members of detainees on a daily basis, with the majority complaining about medical neglect in prison.

The family of Ali Khalil Ali Khalil, a 37-year-old lawyer, filed a complaint in which they pointed out that "he developed intestinal obstruction in March 2015, almost a year and a half after he was arrested, due to the inhumane prison conditions at Torra. Prison officials initially refused to allow him to seek treatment but he was eventually taken to hospital where tests revealed he was suffering from colon cancer."

AOHR UK reported the family saying: "Doctors recommended surgery and chemotherapy but he was allowed only one surgery after which he was returned to prison seven days later. His health deteriorated rapidly afterwards."

"We submitted a number of complaints to the court to request he be released on compassionate grounds. The court ordered his release last August but the prosecutor general appealed the decision and his custody. On 29 October 2016, he was sentenced to five years in prison."

The organisation said it had contacted Egyptian authorities regarding this case and numerous others which it has been informed about "to request the law be upheld and these prisoners be immediately released". They have had no response.

"AOHR UK urges decision makers around the world to put pressure on the Egyptian authorities to end these inhumane policies and provide prisoners with the medical care they need in accordance with the provisions of international law," it said.

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