Three very sick journalists deprived of medical care in Egyptian prisons

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Authorities have so far ignored desperate demands for their release from their families.

RSF has learned that Hisham Abdel Aziz, a Al Jazeera producer detained since June 2019, has serious vision problems. Prior to his arrest, he suffered from glaucoma in both eyes, partial optic nerve atrophy and ocular hypertension, and had two operations on his right eye during an annual leave visit to Egypt since. Qatar. Now, without proper treatment, his cornea could become opaque, causing vision loss.

Amer Abdel Moneim, an editor of a newspaper jailed since December 2020 and diabetic for years, is denied hygiene products, including the disinfectant he needs for his insulin injection pens, said RSF by the Egyptian Network human rights.

The health of Alia awad, a photojournalist imprisoned since October 2017, is extremely worrying. After being diagnosed with uterine tumors, she was taken to hospital in June 2018 and underwent an operation, but authorities refused to release her. Since then, her health has not improved and she still suffers from bleeding.

“We call on the authorities to show humanity in releasing these journalists, whose state of health is incompatible with imprisonment,” said Sabrina Bennoui, head of RSF’s Middle East office. “If the justice system refuses to recognize the arbitrariness of their detention, it should at least allow them to receive appropriate medical care. “

The health of Alaa Abdel Fattah and Mohamed Oxygen, two bloggers in preventive detention since September 2019, is also alarming. On October 19, their case was referred to the State of Emergency Security Court, a special tribunal whose verdicts cannot be appealed and can only be overturned by the Egyptian president.

As a result of this referral, the procedure could last for many more weeks while the judicial harassment to which they are subject has already weighed heavily on their mental health. Oxygen attempted suicide in August, while Fattah told his lawyer last month that he doubted he could endure the conditions of detention for much longer.

Egypt is ranked 161st out of 180 countries in RSF’s 2021 World Press Freedom Index.


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