Egypt's Douma transferred to hospital, Shamy to undisclosed location

Ahram Online, MENA, Tuesday 13 May 2014

Detained activist Ahmed Douma is transferred to hospital following repeated calls to action about his deteriorating health, while Al Jazeera journalist Abdallah El-Shamy is moved to an unknown location

Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma
Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma (Photo: Reuters)

Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma was transferred to a hospital on Tuesday for medical investigations following several calls to action concerning his deteriorating health, state news agency MENA reported.

The activist was sent to the private Nile Badrawi Hospital to conduct an MRI on his back after experiencing pain in his spinal cord segments, security sources told MENA.

Douma, who was sentenced to three years in prison -- and fined LE50,000 -- in December on charges of assaulting police officers during a demonstration outside a Cairo court, is reportedly witnessing deteriorating health conditions.

Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah wrote in March on his Facebook page that Douma, according to the latter's wife, suffers digestive problems that were aggravated by the teargas he inhaled during protests, and is not being provided with the specialised medical care he requires.

Abdel-Fattah criticised the authority's refusal to send Douma to a private hospital where he can receive adequate medical assistance.

Meanwhile, Al-Jazeera released a statement on Monday claiming that their journalist, Abdallah El-Shamy, who has been detained by Egyptian security forces since August, has been relocated by authorities to an unknown location.

Shamy has been on a hunger strike for over 100 days. Showing significant weight loss when he appeared on trial on 3 May, he told the court he had lost 35 kilos (77 lbs) during his detainment.

Al-Jazeera's statement elaborated that Shamy was suffering kidney function imbalance as well as a decrease in his red blood cell count, adding this his health was greatly compromised.

Security forces shut down Al-Jazeera’s Cairo offices following the ouster of Islamist president Mohamed Morsi on 3 July. Authorities accused the network's channel covering Egyptian news of unprofessional bias in favour of Morsi's Brotherhood movement.

In April, Reporters without Borders expressed "deep concern" over the continued detention of journalists on terrorism charges.

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