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Rights group calls for urgent treatment of Muslim Brotherhood leader imprisoned in Egypt

One of the senior political figures of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Beltagy is seen behind the cage during the trial over the breaking up the Rabaa Al-Adawiyyah protests, at the police academy in Cairo, Egypt on December 10, 2016 [Moustafa Elshemy / Anadolu Agency]
A senior political figure of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mohamed Beltagy, is seen behind prison bars in Cairo, Egypt on 10 December 2016 [Moustafa Elshemy / Anadolu Agency]

Al-Shehab Centre for Human Rights yesterday called for the urgent treatment of Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohammad Al-Beltaji, who is imprisoned in the notorious Al-Aqrab Prison in Egypt.

In a statement, Al-Shehab said that on 10 January Al-Beltaji started suffering symptoms of diseases that were the result of “intentional” medical negligence inside his prison. Some of the illnesses are psychological, Arab 21 reported.

On 3 March, Al-Beltaji appeared in court with the effects of the diseases very clear on his body. He told the court that he had not received proper medical care since the start of his illnesses.

The rights group condemned the “medical negligence and the violations practiced against Al-Beltaji and the other prisoners in Al-Aqrab Prison,” blaming the prison administration and the Egyptian prison authorities for any harm caused to him.

Al-Shehab called for the Egyptian authorities to give those being held in Egyptian prisons their right to human treatment and medical care, calling for the Public Prosecution to question those responsible for torture inside prisons.

In a statement posted on Facebook, Al-Beltaji’s family said that he had suffered a brain stroke that further deteriorated his health. His wife said in the statement: “We were surprised by the clear exhaustion during the court hearing,” noting that witnesses told the family that he can hardly move his tongue and arm.

Al-Beltaji’s wife also said that the “biased judiciary is a partner in oppressing and violating Al-Beltaji’s rights and rejecting that he be heard by the judge. The request of his lawyer to take urgent measures related to treating him ‘as a human’ was turned down”.

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