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Egypt: Aboul Fotouh's health deteriorating in prison

The health of former Egyptian presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh is deteriorating in prison, with a slipped disc leaving him in pain and preventing him from walking unassisted, his son Ahmed said in a Facebook post yesterday.

Last February, during the leadup to a presidential election in which incumbent President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi ran for another term, the authorities arrested Aboul Fotouh on charges that included membership in the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood group and "spreading false news". He has since been held in solitary confinement.

Aboul Fotouh, a veteran politician and founder of the Strong Egypt opposition party, had criticised the election in an interview with Al Jazeera, saying it would not be free or democratic given the authorities' crackdown on opponents.

The 66-year-old appeared at the prosecutors' office for questioning yesterday, after which his pretrial detention was extended for another 15 days.

"My father arrived at the prosecutors' [office] … almost carried due to the spinal disc," Ahmed Aboul Fotouh wrote.

Brotherhood official: Egypt is arresting opponents in search of its lapsed legitimacy

"My father who toured all of Egypt with the members of his electoral campaign is unable to take a single step," Ahmed continued.

Human rights groups and activists have repeatedly raised the alarm about prison conditions in Egypt and the absence of adequate health care for detainees.

Since then-defence minister Al-Sisi led a military coup against the country's first democratically elected President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, authorities have launched a crackdown on opponents detaining tens of thousands of them, according to Human Rights Watch.

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