Prisoner transferred to Al-Aqrab prison on false report

Sarah El-Sheikh
4 Min Read

The managing director of Mada Foundation for Media Development, Hisham Gafaar, was transferred from his cell in Al-Qasr Al-Aini to Al-Aqrab prison on Monday by a false medical report, his wife Manar Tantawy confirmed to Daily News Egypt.

Gafaar was transferred when prison authorities granted him release from the prison under the pretence of bringing the detainee to a hospital to be operated on; however, he was instead brought to Al-Aqrab maximum security prison.

Prior to the transfer, Gaafar and three other detainees— engineer Gomaa Mohamed and judges Mahmoud Al-Khodairy and Alaa Hamza—in Al-Qasr Al-Aini went on hunger strike against maltreatment by prison officers and their prevention from receiving food from their families, health treatment, and visitors.

Gafaar’s reasons for going on hunger strike were different from the other three detainees as he suffers from an enlarged prostate. He had surgeries scheduled for him three times, but each time the transportation that was to take him to the hospital did not arrive.

Following the start of the hunger strike, prison authorities scheduled a surgery for Gafaar without prior medical analysis as he was not provided any medical treatment.

His wife explained that a ”false medical report” stated that Gaafar will leave the prison to undergo this surgery in a hospital, despite the fact that he did not undergo any official medical tests. Meanwhile, he was ”deliberately” sent to Al-Aqrab prison instead.

Tantawy said that the commissioner of the prison had previously threatened to transfer Gaafar to Al-Aqrab.  Also, she added that the prison administration assaulted the engineer during their hunger strike.

Gaafar’s family holds the Interior Ministry and the deputy of the prison commissioner and prison cell supervisor responsible for the false medical report and Gafaar’s deteriorating health conditions.

The Human Rights Monitor organisation said that prevention from medical treatment is a violation of the prison law, which grants medical treatment for each prisoner, in a statement on their Facebook page.

The statement mentioned that a number of prisoners are dying in detention because of the lack of medical treatment and noted that the general prosecution is also involved in the issue for not investigating these cases.

It also added that the judicial system is politically involved in the political detainee cases it considers, as it orders investigations of national security without looking at or listening to evidence and witnesses.

“Prison authorities deliberately and slowly kill detainees by neglecting their health conditions,” the statement read.

It concluded calling on the authorities to provide the necessary medical care for prisoners, and said that it holds Egyptian authorities responsibile for sustaining the mental and physical health of detainees. The statement also called on the United Nations to encourage the use of the highest attainable standard of medical care for current detainees.

Gaafar was arrested on 21 October 2014 when police forces raided the Mada Foundation in 6th of October City. The prosecution charged Gafaar with belonging to an outlawed group, and receiving bribes from foreign organisations in exchange

Gafaar was declared missing after security forces took him to an undisclosed location for 48 hours. He was then found by his lawyers at the National Security Apparatus prosecution. Lawyers later discovered that he was held at Al-Aqrab maximum security prison.

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