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Egypt: Second political prisoner attempts suicide in a month

A picture taken during a guided tour organised by Egypt's State Information Service on February 11, 2020, shows an Egyptian police officer entering the Tora prison in the Egyptian capital Cairo [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
An Egyptian police officer enters the Tora prison in the Egyptian capital Cairo on 11 February 2020 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

The second political prisoner in Egypt in a month, Abdulrahman Tariq, known as Mocha, has tried to commit suicide in Tora Prison.

Mocha, who works for the Nedal Centre for Rights and Freedoms, was arrested in 2013 after demonstrating against the protest law.

He was sentenced to three years in prison and three years parole, however even though he was released he was detained again in September 2019 and accused of joining a terror group and financing terrorists.

In March 2020 Mocha was granted parole again but was not released. Several months later he was granted parole yet again, but was still not released.

Mocha suffers from essential hypertension and had already been on hunger strike to try and protest against the conditions of his detention and the fact that prison authorities continued to add him to new cases as he was about to be released.

His sister Sarah said that her brother had tried to commit suicide to get out of the life he was living in prison.

READ: Amnesty calls on Egypt to probe 'extrajudicial executions' seen in army video

She added that the authorities refused to help him: "Even his simplest requests are prohibited."

In July blogger Mohamed Ibrahim attempted suicide after being denied family visits for 15 months and was not allowed the money his family were sending him to buy food.

Ibrahim, who is known as Mohamed Oxygen, overdosed on sleeping pills and was taken to hospital where he has now recovered.

Oxygen was arrested in 2018, then released in 2019 and then arrested again as part of the security forces' crackdown after the September 2019 protests.

Their attempted suicide shines a spotlight on the poor conditions of Egypt's prison and detention centres where detainees are regularly denied medical care.

In March 15-year-old Abdullah Boumediene from Arish in North Sinai overdosed on pills after spending three years away from his family after being detained from the age of 12.

He has since recovered but continues to be detained in squalid conditions.

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