Life of jailed Egyptian activist Ahmed Douma in danger: Doctors Syndicate

Ahram Online, Thursday 2 Oct 2014

Syndicate calls on authorities for prominent activist to be transferred to external hospital due to 'grave threat' from hunger strike

In a different case, political activist Ahmed Douma looks on behind bars in Cairo, December 22, 2013 (Photo: Reuters)

Egypt's Doctors Syndicate said Thursday that the life of prominent activist Ahmed Douma, who had been on a hunger strike for a month, was "in danger for his life."

The syndicate called on judicial authorities to act fast and bypass normal procedures to refer Douma to the intensive care unit in a hospital outside the prison – or else "there is a grave threat to the life of the patient."

Douma started a hunger strike a month ago, along with dozens of others, to demand his release and to call for the cancellation of a controversial protest law that activists and critics have deemed too restrictive. He ended the strike yesterday.

His health has been deteriorating since then, recently appearing in court in a wheelchair looking frail.

On Wednesday, Douma suspended his hunger strike due to stomach and duodenum ulcers. His situation has not improved, however.

The syndicate said Douma's wife asked for its help after she visited her husband in prison and found out he's suffering from continuous vomiting. She said Douma was brought to her unconscious by others who had to carry him.

"According to the wife's complaint, the situation is extremely serious," the syndicate said, calling on doctors in the hospital of Tora Prison, where Douma is being held, to clarify the severity of the situation to the authorities.

Douma is currently serving a three year prison sentence, along with April 6 movement co-founders Ahmed Maher and Mohamed Adel, for illegal protesting in November of last year.

He is on trial in a separate case for his alleged participation in clashes in front of the Egyptian cabinet in December 2011.

Prominent rights lawyer Khaled Ali said the interior ministry is "refraining" from sending him to an external hospital.

The lawyer said he and others have requested from the interior ministry and prosecutor-general to allow Douma to be referred to an external hospital at their expense. The country's top prosecutor did nothing, however, Ali said on his official Facebook page.

Mohamed Sultan, who has been on a hunger strike for more than 240 days, is also facing critical health.

The hunger strike campaign has gained momentum inside and outside Egyptian prisons, with political parties, family members and friends joining the campaign to free political detainees and revoke the protest law.

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