A security source in Egypt has revealed that the Interior Ministry is refusing to treat the Deputy Supreme Guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, at his own expense and despite his deteriorating health condition, New Khalij has reported. Businessman Khairat El-Shater is said to be suffering from colon cancer in Al-Aqrab Prison south of Cairo and is in desperate need of urgent medical care.

The Egyptian authorities have been accused of medical negligence by denying political prisoners of access to adequate and appropriate treatment. However, Cairo denies the allegations and claims that all prisoners are offered free health care.

According to TV presenter Ahmed Moussa, El-Shater has received “medical care” costing the Prison Authority 20,000 Egyptian pounds (around $1,100) every month. Moussa, who is known for being very close to Egypt’s security agencies and politicians, claimed that, “[El-Shater] leaves prison once or twice a month because he is hallucinating [sic] about having cancer. He asks his test to be processed in private labs and he gets what he wants.”

The senior Brotherhood official has been held at the notorious Al-Aqrab Prison since the military coup in mid-2013 and faces several charges, notably “communicating with Hamas”. Along with others, he was sentenced to life imprisonment in the Muqattam case. A 15-year sentence was imposed for allegedly spying on state agencies.