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Israa Abdelfattah transferred to hospital amid fears for her deteriorating health

Egyptian activist Israa Abdelfattah
Egyptian activist Israa Abdelfattah, 17 December 2019 [Twitter]

Egyptian activist Israa Abdelfattah has been transferred to Qanater women's prison hospital after her health severely deteriorated.

Israa was kidnapped from a street in Cairo in October by plainclothes police officers and taken to an unknown location and banned from contacting family and lawyers.

The co-founder of the 6 April movement has consistently told authorities about how she was tortured in prison.

Police officers forced her to stay in a standing position for almost eight hours. She was asked for the password for her phone and when she refused one of the officers strangled her with a sweatshirt, threatening her: "Your life in exchange for the phone."

After her arrest Israa began a hunger strike to try and pressure the prosecutor to open an investigation into her complaints that she had been tortured in custody. When they didn't, she started a thirst strike.

READ: Egypt to confiscate funds of 120 alleged Brotherhood financiers

With a number of lawyers also in prison, the lack of legal resources for prisoners to turn to forces many of them to begin hunger strikes in an attempt to secure basic human rights.

Ola Al-Qaradawi, Umm Zubeida and Aisha Al-Shater have all begun hunger strikes in protest at their unlawful detention and the conditions in which they are held.

In October Aisha was hospitalised for a week following a second hunger strike.

At the beginning of November activists across the world went on a mass hunger strike in solidarity with the 60,000 political prisoners currently being detained in Egypt.

After the September protests inspired by the Egyptian whistleblower Mohamed Ali authorities arrested some 4,000 people, several of whom, like Israa, were key players in the 2011 revolution.

Since July 2013 roughly 2,762 women have been arrested in Egypt and 125 are currently imprisoned, according to the human rights organisation We Record.

READ: Egypt prisons became 'guillotine for executions'

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