Egypt Watch

Egyptian political prisoner Oxygen suffers from life-threatening depression, says lawyer

Despite the intense pressure exerted by activists, which culminated in the security authorities’ approval to allow him to attend his mother’s funeral, the detained Egyptian blogger Mohamed Ibrahim, known as Oxygen, refused to attend.

Nabih Al-Janadi, a member of Ibrahim’s defence team, says that he is considering filing a lawsuit before the State Council to compel the Ministry of Interior to allow Ibrahim to receive visits. Al-Janadi adds that Ibrahim’s mental health had deteriorated in a way that threatens his life. The detained blogger has attempted suicide. According to Al-Janadi, Ibrahim has been prohibited from receiving visits for two years. He is also detained in very poor prison conditions in Tora 2 high security prison.

Aida Seif Al-Dawla, a psychiatrist who co-founded the El Nadeem Centre for the Treatment of Victims of Torture, says Ibrahim’s behaviour likely indicates that he suffers from life-threatening depression. Ibrahim is currently serving a four-year prison sentence handed down by the Emergency Supreme State Security Court last December. Among the charges brought against him is spreading false news that threatens national security. The case also includes activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and human rights lawyer Mohammed Al-Baqer.

Security forces arrested Ibrahim in April 2018, and the Public Prosecution had held him in pretrial detention before the Criminal Court released him under precautionary measures in July 2019. He was arrested again two months later. In 2020, a decision was issued to release him but before it was implemented, new charges were brought against him in another case.

Ibrahim is known as “Oxygen” because of his blog “Oxygen Egypt” and his “Oxygen Misr” channel on YouTube, which used to document violations against detainees, torture in prisons, and enforced disappearances.