Detainees in Scorpion Prison announced their hunger strike, in a statement on Monday, in protest to the death of the consultant psychiatrist, Dr. Amr Abu Khalil. Under the title of a statement to the world’s free detainees from Scorpion Prison, the detainees said that the prison’s notorious administration deliberately killed Abu Khalil on Sunday and refused to take him to hospital to receive appropriate treatment.
The statement revealed that Abu Khalil, brother of the human rights activist Haitham Abu Khalil, suffered from stroke symptoms early in the morning. Still, the prison administration dragged its feet until the afternoon when he passed away. The statement considered what happened to Abu Khalil, 58, as a crime and episode in the series of systematic killings carried out by the regime of General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi against his opponents. The statement affirmed that the detainees would continue to go on an open hunger strike until they emerge from the hell of Scorpion Prison, otherwise, “death by strike” is more honourable for them, as they put it.
In June, Haitham Abu Khalil announced that his brother Amr Abu Khalil, and others, had been infected with coronavirus inside Scorpion Prison in Cairo. Within one week, five detainees died in Egyptian prisons because of neglect, torture, and denial of food and medicine. The victims are Amr Abu Khalil, Ahmed Abdel Nabi, Subhi al-Saqa, Shaaban Hussein Khaled, and Abdel Rahman Youssef. In mid-August, the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Essam el-Erian, died in the Scorpion high-security prison.
Human rights organisations criticise the inhumane conditions inside Egyptian prisons and accuse the Egyptian authorities of adopting a slow killing policy against political opponents.