Aqrab Prison Strike Escalates: Political Prisoners Protest Medical Neglect, Visit Ban
|Sunday, October 8,2017 15:45|
Human rights researcher Osama Nassif said the tragedy of high-security Tura Prison (AKA Aqrab Prison) continues as 80% of detainees join a hunger strike, adding that prison administration is taking a hard line with striking detainees and is refusing to register strike cases – a standard procedure.
In a statement to ikhwanweb, the Muslim Brotherhood's English-language website, Bayoumi revealed that a number of reasons for the strike, such as a visits ban for the majority of political prisoners. Some of those were allowed no visits at all for six months, or even a whole year. Also, detainees are forced to eat only food provided by the prison, which caused them food poisoning more than once.
Strikers also protest the prevention of exercise, as they do not see the sun at all. They also protest total medical neglect, as most of them are elderly and suffer chronic diseases.
The strikers, according to Aqrab Prison Detainees Association in a statement Sunday, demanded visits to be allowed for all prisoners, that beds, mattresses and pillows are returned to cells, exercise to be allowed and health care provided.
The strike began three weeks ago with 10 opposition leaders, including Dr Essam El-Erian, Dr Mohamed El-Beltagy, the lawyer Essam Sultan, the journalist Hisham Gaafar and others.
Most Aqrab Prison inmates have been confined to solitary cells for four years now. A number of them have received judicial rulings allowing them rights to visits, but the prison administration refuses to apply these provisions, and continues to prevent families from visiting, on the pretext that Aqrab is not subject to prison regulations!
Meanwhile, the family of lawyer Essam Sultan said they were prevented Sunday from attending his trial and were assaulted by court security, adding that Essam Sultan and a number of detainees suffered a health crisis in the court as a result of poor conditions of detention during the trial while on a hunger strike.