CAIRO: The mother of a man who died in Wadi El-Natroun Prison is pressing charges against the prison authorities, accusing them of medical negligence.
Tamer El-Shazly Mahdy Mohamed, 22, was four years into a 10-year prison sentence in the Wadi El-Natroun Prison No. 440 when, his mother alleges, he fell ill this year.
Hamida Abdel Ghany, a nurse from Gharbeyya told Daily News Egypt that she first noticed that he wasn’t well in September.
“I went to visit him on Sept. 15 and noticed that [his temperature was high] and his skin was turning yellow. He told me that he was feeling very unwell. The problem is that I couldn’t afford to visit him regularly because each visit costs me LE 200, she says.
She next visited him on Oct. 30 when she discovered that in the intervening period Mohamed had been taken to the Shibeen El-Koum Hospital, where he underwent medical tests.
The results of these tests she alleges were not collected by the prison. “I went to the hospital and got the results myself. The medical reports stated that he had a severe case of Anaemia and needed to be taken to Al-Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, she says.
On Nov. 18, her son was again taken to the Shibeen El-Koum Hospital where he stayed for two days. Medical tests carried out during this period showed that he had an extremely low red-blood cells count. Instead of being transferred to Al-Qasr Al-Aini Hospital, Abdel Ghany says he was returned to Wadi El-Natroun Prison No. 440.
Abdel Ghany says that from Nov. 20 onwards she contacted everyone she could reach by fax and telephone in an attempt to get medical treatment for her son.
“I went to the prison affairs department and they told me that in order to make a complaint I had to go to Abbasiyya and get a photocopy of his birth certificate. I did this, and on Nov. 25 while I was in Cairo I called the prison to check on him. They told me that Tamer had been sent to Al-Qasr Al-Aini Hospital in a serious condition, Abdel Ghany told Daily News Egypt.
She immediately went to the hospital in order to ask about her son. “I arrived and saw the police and the ambulance at the door of the hospital. I asked about Tamer and the doctor told me that when he arrived he was already dead.
Abdel Ghany alleges that the prison authorities’ negligence and failure to treat her son sooner are directly responsible for his death.
The Egyptian Organization for Human Rights has lodged a complaint with the public prosecutor’s office calling for an immediate investigation into Mohamed’s death.