Egypt Watch

Abdel Basit Abdel Daim Political detainee left to die without treatment in prison

The political detainee Abdel Basit Abdel Daim, 59, has died in Hadra Prison in Alexandria because of medical negligence, said the Egyptian Network for Human Rights.

Abdel Daim, who was working as manager of the Engineers Syndicate in Qalyubia, was arrested on 16 December 2016, and accused of joining a banned group, possession of a political publication and spreading false news, in case 99 of 2017. He was sentenced to imprisonment for five years and put in Wadi Al-Natron Prison.

According to ENHR, Abdel Daim became ill in February and was diagnosed with hepatitis and cirrhosis. A journey of suffering started then and the family demanded he be transferred to a private clinic where he could receive the necessary treatment on the family’s account. After initial reluctance, Abdel Daim was indeed transferred to Almery Hospital in Alexandria in July, but due to the hospital’s poor equipment, he was returned to prison despite the fact that his family had already paid the cost of the treatment he did not receive. Abdel Daim was left suffering and in pain in prison, while the authorities insisted on refusing to transfer him to another hospital until he passed away.

ENHR denounced the continuous deaths of political detainees in Egypt’s prisons, as the number of deaths among detainees amounted to 34 detainees in 2021, including six in August.

The increasing death rates came as an expected result of inhumane detention conditions, which contradict the minimum international standards. Over the past seven years, about 774 political detainees died in prisons and detention centres, a lot of them because of medical negligence and inhumane detention conditions.