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Friday, 30 July 2021

Detainee Israa El-Taweel is receiving proper medical care: Egypt's Ministry of Interior

El-Taweel's lawyer says that his client received only one medical checkup in four months

Ahram Online , Tuesday 3 Nov 2015

Egypt's minister of interior's assistant for public relations and media Abu Bakr Abdel-Karim said that all prisoners in Egypt receive proper medical treatment, in response to a question regarding the medical needs of detained photographer and student Israa El-Taweel.

In comments made Monday night on the CBC TV channel, Abdel-Karim said that El-Taweel was receiving all the required medical care.

However, El-Taweel's lawyer, Halim Haniesh, told Ahram Online that his client did not receive any medical treatment or care since her arrest in June until October.

On Monday, the Giza Criminal Court renewed the detention of El-Taweel for 45 days pending investigations.

Egypt's state security prosecution is accusing El-Taweel of belonging to the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and "spreading false information" to tarnish the country's image as well hindering public safety.

Pictures of El-Taweel sobbing and using crutches in court went viral on Monday, with thousands of social media users on Twitter and Facebook demanding her release for health reasons.

El-Taweel was shot and injured during clashes with security forces on 25 January 2014 while covering the protests of the 25 January revolution’s third anniversary. The injury reportedly caused a year-long disability which bound her to a wheelchair until her ability to walk was partially restored after undergoing physiotherapy.

According to Abdel-Karim, after being medically checked the freelance photographer was referred to a chiropractic consultant and had x-ray scans on her spine.

According to Haniesh, El-Taweel had one session of physiotherapy in a prison hospital that was conducted improperly and caused burns on her leg, which he says was proven before the state security prosecution on 20 October 2015.

Her family says that her ability to walk deteriorated again as a result of not continuing her physiotherapy sessions for four months.

An online petition was launched calling for her release on health grounds and attracted over 1,000 signatures within the first 24 hours.

"We are not looking for new scans," Haniesh said. "We already have her scans and medical reports and we want to start the sessions as soon as possible so her condition does not worsen." He added that the family was already paying for her x-ray scans.

El-Taweel has been detained for 155 days pending trial, according to the Freedom for the Brave campaign, a grassroots movement that calls for the release of political prisoners.

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