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Psychiatrist dies in Egypt’s Scorpion Prison after arrest in reprisal for journalist brother

Psychiatrist Amr Ali Abu Khalil [Facebook]
Psychiatrist Amr Ali Abu Khalil [Facebook]

A psychiatrist has died in Egypt’s Scorpion Prison after repeated requests for urgent medical care were ignored.

Amr Ali Abu Khalil had a heart attack and repeatedly called on authorities to allow medicine in or that he be admitted to the prison hospital for treatment.

Abu Khalil was forcibly disappeared at the beginning of October last year after security forces stormed his private clinic.

They went to his house, stole two laptops, his children’s passports and their national ID cards and went to his sister’s house.

They also broke down his mother, Fatima Zaghloul, granddaughter of the former Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul’s, door and stole valuables from her house.

READ: Law specialist calls on Egypt to cooperate in probe into death of Morsi’s son

The arrest followed a report on corruption within the Al-Sisi family published by the prominent Egyptian journalist Haitham Abu Khalil, an anchor at the Turkey-based El-Sharq, and Abu Khalil’s brother. 

Egypt has a history of punishing family members of outspoken Egyptians, particularly if they live abroad.

In June, security forces raided the homes of the family of former political prisoner Mohamed Soltan and arrested five of his male cousins. Soltan had just filed a lawsuit against the former prime minister for torture.

Aisha Al-Shater, daughter of top Muslim Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater, and Ola Al-Qaradawi, granddaughter of the scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, are both being held in solitary confinement as a reprisal for their relatives’ opposition to the regime.

Since the 2013 coup, hundreds of prisoners have died in Egypt detention centres, many from medical neglect or torture.

The Committee for Justice estimates the number of deaths to be around 958.

Human Rights Watch have just urged Egypt’s authorities to open investigations into the deaths of four detainees over three days. No meaningful investigations have been conducted into how or why so many people have died in detention.

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