Prison responsible for hunger striker’s health: ECESR

Jihad Abaza
4 Min Read

Human rights lawyers at the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights (ECESR) issued a notice about activist Hamada Nubi’s hunger strike to the prosecutor general on Tuesday. They stated that they hold the prison administration completely responsible for Nubi’s health.

Nubi was arrested and charged with breaking the Protest Law adopted in November 2013. He was sentenced to 15 years in prison and given EGP 100,000 fine. The controversial Protest Law effectively gives the authorities the right to ban or break up protests that they deem to be a security threat.

Nubi went on hunger strike on 25 August 2014 to protest his detention, and is demanding a fair trial. His health began to deteriorate on Sunday and he passed out inside his prison cell, said Khaled Abdel Hamid, a member of Freedom for the Brave, an initiative that provides support for detainees.

The ECESR said Nubi is now detained on “unlawful allegations”. The centre’s lawyers also demanded in a statement that Nubi be provided with any medical attention and care that he may need.

The lawyers demanded a guarantee that the prison administration would not pressure Nubi to break his hunger strike.

The ECESR statement stated that their lawyers would hold the Tora Prison, where Nubi is currently held, completely responsible for his medical well-being.

ECESR will also hold the prison administration accountable for any abuse or harassment Nubi faces from them during the hunger strike.

The centre’s lawyers also notified the prosecution of two other hunger strikers, not in prison, who announced solidarity hunger strikes on 31 August.

The two hunger strikers, Mohamed AbdelAziz and Islam Talaat, are demanding the release of all political detainees, and all detainees in politically-oriented cases. They are also demanding fair trials for all protest cases.

Tens of political detainees in Egypt are adopting hunger strikes as a protest method.

Prison administrations have forced many of the detainees who recently announced hunger strikes to sign papers denying their hunger strikes.

Hend and Rasha Mounir, detained in Qanater prison since 16 August 2013 and sentenced to 25 years also announced hunger strikes on 8 August 2014. Both are mothers and their children are under 10 years of age.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Douma, an activist and member of the Egyptian Popular Current, which is on hunger strike since 28 August, is also suffering from health problems, according to his wife. Freedom of the Brave reported that he threw up 29 times in 48 hours, and that he has also passed out, not long after Nubi lost consciousness.

Despite their cell mates yelling and banging with spoons against the cell to get the jailers’ attention, the guards did not check on their prison cell until after two hours had passed.

“In a summary, what the prison is saying is, when you get in a coma, then we will put you on machines and solutions and feed you,” his wife said to Freedom for the Brave.

Activist Mohamed Soltan, son of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Salah Soltan, has been on hunger strike for over 210 days and has been detained for longer than a year. He is facing trial on Wednesday. His trials have been continuously postponed over the past year.

Mohamed Zarei, a human rights lawyer, said that hunger-striking “is a constitutional right”.

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Jihad Abaza is a journalist and photographer based in Cairo. Personal website:
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