Mona Mina, the undersecretary of the Doctors Syndicate and prominent defender of human rights, was summoned for investigations by prosecution authorities in an urgent session scheduled for Saturday, the syndicate reported Wednesday.
The syndicate said the reasons behind the summoning were not clarified. However, it is believed that Mina could face charges related to spreading false news and disturbing public order, accusations that were brought against her by the Health Ministry.
Several human rights organisations and advocates immediately announced solidarity with Mina, believing she is being punished for publicly decrying the ongoing medicine shortage in Egypt.
A Tuesday statement signed by over 500 public figures and 23 entities condemned the “unjustifiable attack on Mina” by officials and the media, which have focused on one specific sentence used by Mina during a discussion on medical issues “that was distorted”.
“We believe this fierce campaign against the syndicate’s undersecretary is an obvious attempt—within an ongoing campaign—to silence those who want to reveal the problems of our society and find solutions to them,” said the statement published on the Doctors Syndicate’s website.
When Mina was assailed in the media following her comment that was taken out of context, the Doctors Syndicate reacted in Mina’s defence, dismissing the accusations and asking people to refer back to the full interview.
While discussing the shortage in medical supplies in an interview, Mina said she received a complaint from a doctor that the hospital he works for ordered him to use the same syringes more than once on several patients.
Mina was accused of falsely claiming that these were part of general orders being applied in hospitals.
Following prison sentences issued against the president and board members of the Press Syndicate, Mina risks a similar fate. Furthermore, if she is accused of spreading false news, she could face a similar charge that was successfully brought against former Central Auditing Organization head Hisham Geneina for exposing corruption.
Mina was a key player during a historic gathering that took place in February at the Doctors Syndicate, which protested against police brutality.