Alaa Abdel-Fattah hunger, water strike ‘questionable’; enjoys good health: Egypt's Public Prosecution

Amr Kandil , Friday 11 Nov 2022

Medical examination of Egyptian inmate Alaa Abdel-Fattah has shown normal results, which indicate that his reported hunger and water strike is “questionable,” the Egyptian Public Prosecution said in a statement on Thursday.

Egyptian Public Prosecution building
Egyptian Public Prosecution building


The prosecution said it launched an investigation in response to a complaint by the Abdel-Fattah's representatives who asked for him to be transferred to a hospital for monitoring after he started "a hunger and water strike."

The prosecution said Abdel-Fattah enjoys good health and his condition does not merit admittance to a medical facility, but it recommended that the inmate's health be monitored periodically.

It added that it found vitamins, nutritional supplements, and a saline solution for hydration among Abdel-Fattah’s possessions while inspecting his prison cell.

A medical committee formed by the prosecution examined Abdel-Fattah and found that his vital signs – namely blood pressure, heart rate, oxygen level, blood sugar level, and temperature –  were all normal, the statement said.

Last week, the family of the 41-year-old jailed Egyptian activist, who is serving a five-year sentence in a criminal case, announced that he would "step up a hunger strike" by stopping to drink water in tandem with the 27th UN Climate Change Conference (COP27) that is being held in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Abdel-Fattah also underwent an electrical heart activity test (EKG), which also showed normal results, the statement added.

The medical committee also noted that Abdel-Fattah consumed enough calories to maintain his health.

According to his prison medical record, Abdel-Fattah also underwent regular medical examinations, the statement said.

The inmate does not suffer from any diseases and does not take any medicines except the vitamins and nutritional supplements found in his possession, the prosecution added.

Medical examination on Abdel-Fattah was carried out with his consent, it said.

Abdel-Fattah confirmed to the prosecution that he only takes vitamins and tonics and that he does not suffer from any diseases, the statement noted.

He also told the prosecution that he has been feeling comfortable at the Wadi El-Natroun Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre, to which he was transferred a few months ago, the statement said.

In May, Abdel-Fattah was moved from Cairo's high-security Tora prison to the rehabilitation centre after the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) requested that he be transferred to that centre for its "advanced medical capabilities."

Abdel-Fattah told the prosecution that he has a clean prison cell with natural sunlight and that he is treated appropriately and is allowed to get books into prison and to exercise, according to the statement.

Despite this, the prosecution said, Abdel-Fattah decided to go on a partial hunger strike by consuming a limited amount of calories daily.

This is the reason why his health condition has been stable, the prosecution noted.

After reviewing Abdel-Fattah’s visitation log, the prosecution said it found that he regularly received normal and exceptional visits, the last of which was on 7 November.

He received three visits in October alone, the statement added.

He stays in a big room along with three other inmates who share a private toilet and has been given access to a large number of books and magazines in different languages, the statement said.

In 2021, Abdel-Fattah, who has been in jail since 2019, received a final five-year prison sentence for joining a terrorist group and spreading false news inside and outside the country.

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