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Ex-union leader dies in Egypt prison

Inmates are seen inside an Egyptian prison on 19 November 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Images]
Inmates are seen inside an Egyptian prison on 19 November 2019 [MOHAMED EL-SHAHED/AFP/Images]

The former head of the Egyptian teachers' union in the city of Amiriyya has died in prison due to medical negligence, Al-Khaleej Al-Jadeed news site reported.

Sobhi Al-Saqqa was detained in the Borg Al-Arab prison. Located in northern Egypt, the prison has reportedly witnessed similar deaths among detainees in the past. Authorities have issued no statements on reports of Al-Saqqa's death, which came shortly after the death of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Essam El-Erian who was being held in the notorious Scorpion prison in Cairo.

Human rights advocates believe that political detainees in Egypt suffer from shortages of food, medicines and a lack of access to medical care.

According to a recent report issued by the Geneva-based human rights organisation Committee for Justice, Egyptian detention facilities have seen 68 deaths in the first half of 2020 alone.

Titled "From Neglect to Calamity", the report adds that the cases are "spread between 10 unjust executions, 51 deaths as a result of the denial of health care, 3 deaths as a result of torture, and 4 deaths as a result of poor detention conditions."

Since Egypt's Defence Minister, turned President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi, led a military coup in 2013, authorities have launched an unprecedented and prolonged crackdown on opponents and dissidents.

READ: Half of Egypt's population wanted by the Public Prosecutor

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