An image of currently imprisoned Egyptian-American activist Mohamed Soltan was posted on social media on Tuesday. The image shows him lying in bed with blood at his mouth and dry blood on the pillow, signalling increasingly dire health conditions.
“We are petrified at the thought of what condition Mohamed is currently in and we continue to call on all human rights organisations and the U.S. Government to do whatever it takes to secure his immediate release,” said a statement by his family posted, on Tuesday following the release of the images.
According to the statement, the images show signs of physical and psychological torture and attempts by the authorities to exercise pressure on Soltan to end his hunger strike.
“The family has been pleading with Mohamed to break his strike due to his dire condition, the increased torture tactics being used against him, and the suicide attempt narrative being pushed by the authorities. Mohamed has been refusing to break it. However, he has recently agreed to begin taking in a sufficient amount of liquids,” the statement said.
On hunger strike since 25 January of last year, Soltan has now completed his 360th day. He has slipped into multiple comas, was transferred to the intensive care unit four times and has had two strokes during his detention.
In early December 2014, Soltan was sent to Qasr Al-Eini hospital after he slipped into a coma for 20 minutes and woke up with memory loss. Later that month, Soltan was transferred for the fourth time to the intensive care unit.
Soltan had addressed President Barack Obama on several occasions from inside his detention, describing the inhumane conditions of his detention. Activists have also reported several stories from Soltan on the situation in jail.
US President Barack Obama had asked Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to release Soltan on bail, on account of his deteriorating health. An Egyptian foreign ministry letter to the court had said that the request came during the United Nations’ General Assembly meetings in September 2014, according to Soltan’s lawyer Halim Henish.
Mohamed Soltan, the imprisoned son of prominent Muslim Brotherhood leader Salah Soltan was arrested in August 2013. He was accused of participating in an operations room aiming to spread violence during the Muslim Brotherhood sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adaweya in the same month. The trial has been postponed to 1 February.