Egypt Watch

Over 500 political prisoners in Egypt enter 35th day of hunger strike

25th July 2019

Over 500 political prisoners across several prisons in Egypt have surpassed day 35 of their hunger strike, which they began in June to protest against the death of former President Mohamed Morsi.


Morsi died on 17 June after collapsing in a court room. He was kept in solitary confinement for six years and consistently denied medical attention, as are thousands of inmates imprisoned in Egypt’s jails.


El-Nadeem NGO details 283 cases of individual torture, 30 deaths in custody and 111 people who have been subject to medical negligence in the first half of 2019.


Earlier this week, two political prisoners in Egypt, Omar Adel and Kilani Hassan, died after being kept in inhuman conditions. Hassan was denied medical care.


The hunger strike aims to stop the ill treatment of prisoners and the deliberate refusal to administer medical attention by authorities, the prevention of visits and detainees from exercising.


In the aftermath of Morsi’s death authorities prevented a number of families including in Tora Prison from visiting their loved ones, though this is a common punitive measure already in force against many detainees. 


Authorities have raised the price of special permits to visit family members by 500 per cent.

According to Al-Jazeera Arabic, at the beginning of the strike Burj Al-Arab prison tried to negotiate with the detainees to break their strike with the assurance that they would look into their requests, but detainees have vowed to continue until their demands are met. 


In desperation at their prison conditions, many Egyptian detainees have used hunger strike to try and force the Egyptian authorities to give them a fair trial and improve their circumstances including Mohamed Soltan, who spent most of his two year detention on hunger strike before being released.267210_262421700435000_123320141011824_1132114_5729706_n


Ola Al-Qaradawi is currently on hunger strike at Al-Qanater women’s prison after being returned to pre-trial detention in solitary confinement after two years.