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Egyptian opponent Essam Sultan faints in courtroom during his trial

Al-Wasat Party's deputy leader Essam Sultan speaks during the trial session, known as breaking up the Rabaa el-Adaweya protests case, at Cairo criminal court in Cairo, Egypt on 17 October 2017 [Mostafa Elshemy/Anadolu Agency]

Vice President of Al-Wasat party Essam Sultan fainted yesterday inside the cage of a Cairo courtroom during his trial in which he is accused of attempting to overthrow the ruling regime and inciting violence at the 2013 Rabaa protest

People called for the provision of emergency medical aid to the prominent opponent of the 2013 military coup. The judge, Hassan Farid, responded, saying that he had summoned a doctor to examine Sultan.

Sultan’s family are holding the interior ministry responsible for the deterioration of his health inside the notorious Scorpion Prison where he is being held.

His wife, Noha Abdallah, has accused the prison’s administration of starving detainees.

Read more: ‘There are no political prisoners in Egypt,’ says Sisi

His lawyers filed a complaint to Egypt’s Prosecutor General and the state-affiliated National Council for Human Rights in which they accused the prison’s administration of subjecting Sultan to torture and depriving him of food and drink.

Sultan was arrested in July 2013 shortly after the military coup that toppled then-President Mohamed Morsi. He is being tried for 15 cases including insulting the judiciary, attempting to overthrow the ruling regime and inciting violence in the anti-coup protest camp known as the Rabaa Adawiya sit-in. The defendants deny the accusations.

The Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Badie, is being tried alongside Sultan, in addition to a number of leading figures in the Islamist group.

Since the July 2013 coup Egyptian authorities have launched an unprecedented crackdown on the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as other opponents, carrying out scores of arrests and enforced disappearances and prosecuting dissidents in what has been widely described by international human rights groups as “politicised” court cases.

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