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Egypt political prisoner dies after hunger strike in prison

Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Badr city, Egypt on January 16, 2022 [Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in Badr city, Egypt on January 16, 2022 [Photo by KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

A 47-year-old man has died in prison in Egypt after starting a hunger strike to protest the conditions of his detention, according to the Egyptian Network for Human Rights.

Alaa Al-Salami's family were only informed that he had died three days after he passed away.

Al-Salami was sentenced to life imprisonment on 30 April 2019 by the Cairo Criminal Court and detained first in the maximum-security Scorpion Prison and then transferred to Badr 3 Prison.

In prison, Al-Salami was tortured, prevented from receiving visitors and exercising. Following his hunger strike he did not receive adequate medical care.

According to the Egyptian Network for Human Rights, 35 people have died in prison in Egypt since the beginning of the year. Al-Salami was the second political prisoner to die in Egypt's new prison complex.

READ: Egypt arrests hundreds ahead of COP27

In September the Arab Organisation for Human Rights in the UK said that the number of prisoners who die in prison in Egypt continues to rise as violations including medical neglect continue to take place.

Prisoners who are desperate due to the lack of due process sometimes embark on a hunger strikes to attract international pressure and force authorities to release them.

In 2020 Egyptian American citizen Mustafa Kassem died in an Egyptian prison after starting a hunger strike after a six-year fight against wrongful imprisonment.

Kassem's heart failed and his family said he was not given appropriate medical attention.

Prominent British Egyptian activist Alaa Abdelfattah has been on hunger strike for 200 days against his wrongful imprisonment.

Earlier this week he announced he was escalating his strike and giving up the 100 calories he has lived on since April.

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