Mahmoud Abdel Karim was arrested last Friday during a demonstration outside the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters in Moqattam. He was originally held for four days, but a court ruled on Tuesday that he would be held for a further 15 days.
Abdel Karim is 28 years old and voluntarily provides assistance for injured protesters during demonstrations. Moataz Yousry, a fellow volunteer and friend spoke to Daily News Egypt about Abdel Karim. He said that Abdel Karim decided to volunteer to help the injured following his own painful experience on 28 January 2011, commonly known as the “Day of Rage”, when he suffered suffered birdshot wounds to his face, including his nose. According to Yousry, Abdel Karim is now only able to use 60% of his right hand.
Working with businesswoman and philanthropist Heba Elsewedy’s group of volunteers, Abdel Karim became a regular at protest field hospitals for the next two years.
He also joined Elsewedy in providing medical aid to Libyans who came to Egypt fleeing the conflict in their own country. In a Facebook post Elsewedy described Abdel Karim as being “like my son” and said that when he was working he treated people from both sides of the clashes that have plagued protests over the last two years.
Yousry said that on last Friday in Moqattam, Abdel Karim was working as a medical volunteer when he was arrested without any reason. He is being detained at Tora Prison where his family have been allowed to visit him. Yousry said that he believes that Abdel Karim is not being treated well, reporting that he has suffered some damage to his ear.
Yousry reported that a protest has been scheduled for Wednesday outside Zeinhom Court to demand the release of Abdel Karim. Yousry fears that if they are unable to secure his release before the 15 days are up then he will be kept in prison for 15 more days.