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Court rejects medical release of hunger-striker Mohamed Soltan

Request denied from 12 rights groups to release Mohamed Soltan, who has been on hunger strike for over 280 days and is in poor health

Ahram Online , Wednesday 5 Nov 2014
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A photo for Mohamed Soltan in a previous session of the trial (Photo : Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave Facebook page)

A request to release detained hunger-striking Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan due to his deteriorating health condition was rejected for the fourth time on Wednesday.

Cairo Criminal court rejected the request filed by 12 rights groups, describing it as "a blatant intervention in judiciary work".

The rights groups included the freedoms committee of the Doctors Syndicate, Al-Nadeem Centre for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence, The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) and the Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI).

Maha Mahmoud, who filed the request on their behalf, contested the court's decisions saying it was not "a blatant intervention", adding the request was based on medical reports on Soltan's condition.

Three similar previous requests were rejected.

Soltan, 26, is on trial with 50 others, including top Muslim Brotherhood leaders, in the case known as the "Rabaa control room". The court adjourned the case on Wednesday to 16 November.

Soltan has been on hunger-strike for over 280 days, causing several local and international rights groups, including Amnesty International, to voice deep concerns over his deteriorating medical condition.

Soltan's family have launched a hunger strike in solidarity, calling on the Egyptian public to join them and also urging the US to help release him.

Soltan and other defendants are accused of setting up an operations room during the Brotherhood-led Rabaa Al-Adaweya protest camp in July - August  2013, as part of plans to defy the state and spread chaos, as well as plot attacks on police stations, private property and churches.

His family claims he was not involved in politics and had returned to Egypt to care for his sick mother.

His father, Saleh Soltan, a leading Islamic preacher was rounded up by authorities in a crackdown on Morsi's sympathisers.

Several detainees in Egyptian prisons are on hunger-strike to protest either their detention or the controversial protest law under which hundreds have been arrested.

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