The families of Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy and Mohamed Sultan held a press conference at the Journalists' Syndicate in downtown Cairo on Monday afternoon to call for the immediate release of the two detainees, who have been on a hunger strike for more than 100 days.
El-Shamy's family also expressed concerns for his health. Last month, reports surfaced that El-Shamy had lost a third of his body weight while on a hunger strike that has now surpassed 100 days.
Two weeks ago, photos of El-Shamy eating were leaked via social media. The family of the Al-Jazeera correspondent accused the interior ministry of forcing him to eat, despite him insisting that he complete his hunger strike. They also said that they haven't seen El-Shamy in 14 days.
According to his family, El-Shamy has been transferred from Tora Prison to an undisclosed prison.
El-Shamy was arrested while covering the violent dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest camp in Cairo last August. He has been in detention since then, with his case not yet referred to court.
On Tuesday, a Cairo criminal court will look into an appeal from El-Shamy's lawyers over the prosecution's decision to once again renew his detainment period.
The family of Mohamed Sultan also spoke at Monday's press conference.
Sultan – son of the well-known Islamic preacher Salah Sultan – was arrested in August during the violent dispersal of a pro-Mohamed Morsi protest camp in Cairo. His family says he had come back to Egypt from the United States to look after his sick mother.
On Sunday afternoon, the families of both Sultan and El-Shamy as well as tens of activists held a protest at the Journalists' Syndicate to demand their release. Human rights activists Aida Seif El-Doula and Laila Soueif have been on hunger strike for over a week in solidarity with the two detainees.
Meanwhile, Egypt's National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) announced that it will visit Tora Prison this week to check on the condition of both Sultan and El-Shamy.