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Rights group: Egyptian political detainee dies in prison

August 18, 2023 at 1:22 pm

Egyptian prison. [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egyptian political prisoner, Mahmoud Abdel-Raheem, has died in the Gamasa Prison in Damietta governorate, two months after both his daughter and wife were killed in a car accident while on their way to visit him in detention, a rights watchdog has said.

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights (ENHR) said Abdel-Raheem, a former employee at the Ministry of Religious Endowments, was sentenced to three years in prison.

On 25 May, Abdel-Raheem’s 20-year-old daughter, Hajar, and his wife died in a traffic accident while they were on their way to visit him.

For two years prior to his death, Abdel-Raheem had suffered from cancer and lung problems that required urgent medical intervention.

Last year, 52 prisoners died inside Egyptian prisons, either as a result of deliberate medical negligence or harsh detention conditions, according to human rights organisations.

Opposition groups and human rights organisations believe the number of political detainees in Egypt is approximately 60,000, but in January 2021, Amnesty International estimated the number of detainees in Egypt to be about 114,000.