Alaa Abdel-Fattah calls for action on imprisoned activist's deteriorating health

Ahram Online, Saturday 29 Mar 2014

Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah said that Ahmed Douma's health conditions have been deteriorating since his recent hunger strike

Ahmed Douma chanting slogans during a march to Tahrir Square demanding prosecution of members of former President Hosni Mubarak's regime in Cairo, Egypt. April 1, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Prominent Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah criticised what he describes as the authorities’ negligence towards the deteriorating health of imprisoned activist Ahmed Douma.

Abdel-Fattah, who was released from prison last week on bail after over three months of detention on charges of organising unauthorised protests, said that Douma’s health has been deteriorating since he went on a hunger strike in December.

Douma was sentenced to three years in prison in December for assaulting police officers during a demonstration outside a Cairo court and fined LE50,000. He is appealing the verdict.

Abdel-Fattah wrote on his official Facebook page on Friday that according to Douma's wife, Douma is suffering from digestive problems that have been aggravated by teargas inhaled during protests, and is not being provided with the specialised medical care he requires.

Abdel-Fattah said that Douma has not seen the prison doctor who specialises in treating his condition for more than a month.

A statement by the National Council for Human Rights last January confirms part of Abdel-Fattah's statement.

A delegation from the council visited Douma and Abdel-Fattah in Tora prison in January and criticised their treatment. The council also criticised the general prosecution for not responding to the three-week-long hunger strike by the detained activists.

"We have requested that he is given the same treatment as Mubarak's men who are spending their prison term in private hospitals," Abdel-Fattah wrote.
Nasserist presidential hopeful Hamdeen Sabbahi has also criticised Douma’s treatment.

"Protecting Ahmed Douma's life and the revolution's youth behind bars is the responsibility of the state. Tora prison's refusal to transport Douma to the hospital requires an investigation," he wrote on his official Twitter account.

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