MB detainee freed for heart surgery, but most sick prisoners remain in jail

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CAIRO: Muslim Brotherhood detainee Dr Sanaa Abu Zeid was released from Tora Prison on Monday night after suffering chest pain.

He was then sent to the intensive care unit at Manial University Hospital where open heart surgery was recommended.

Abu Zeid is the seventh Brotherhood detainee in recent weeks to face serious illness in Tora prison, but one of only two to be released into what friends and associates consider appropriate medical care.

Mahmoud Hussein, who was arrested in a Giza raid on Aug. 17, was released shortly thereafter when he suffered a heart attack inside prison. He was also sent to Manial University Hospital, which has a special ward to treat prisoners and convicts. There he received medical care while handcuffed to a gurney.

Also released to Manial Hospital this week was Hassan Zalat, a defendant in the military trial currently taking place against 40 Muslim Brotherhood leaders on charges of money laundering and membership of a banned organization.

He was also told he needed a bypass operation, but the hospital said it did not have the resources to treat him. When his family requested he be moved to Al Qasr Al Aini hospital, authorities at Tora refused.

“Zalat is supposed to have open heart surgery, but they won’t allow it, said Ibrahim El Houdaiby, board member of ikhwanweb.com.

“He has been sick for a long time – when they arrested him back in February he had just had a heart operation.

According to Brotherhood blogger Abdel Moneim Mahmoud, detainees Dr Mohamed Kamal and Dr Mahmoud Doheimy also suffer from heart conditions and may require open heart surgery, but authorities at Tora prison have so far refused to release them.

Zahraa El Shater, daughter of Brotherhood Deputy Khairat El Shater, who is currently standing trial before a military court, says that many Brotherhood family members fear sending their loved ones to Manial Hospital because it has a reputation for poor treatment and unsanitary conditions.

Her father is a diabetic suffering from a potentially dangerous leg infection in jail, but she says that her family has urged him not to go to Manial Hospital.

“The prison hospital is even dirtier and worse than the prison itself, she said. “We would rather he stay in his cell than be sent to that dirty hospital.

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