Morsi, MB leaders start hunger strike

Around 450 political prisoners affiliated to the Muslim Brotherhood have begun hunger strikes to protest inhumane treatment in prison, the Brotherhood stated on Monday through its Ikhwanweb twitter handle.

It stated that among those on strike are deposed President Mohamed Morsi, businessman Khairat al-Shater, former politicians Essam al-Erian, Mohamed al-Beltagy, Essam al-Haddad and Ossama Yassin, and Brotherhood members Ahmed Aly, Ahmed Mashaly, Ahmed Abdel Atti and Ahmed Hodhod.

The Ikhwanweb tweets said the prisoners have been denied family visits, legal consultation and medical care, while their prison cells are overcrowded and unhygienic.

Abdallah al-Shamy tweeted Tuesday that his brother, Al Jazeera reporter Mosaab al-Shamy, and 17 fellow prisoners had started the hunger strike to “protest terrible conditions and ill-treatment.”

Shamy tweeted, “With no sunlight or fresh air, Mosaab al-Shamy was allowed out of his cell only once (for 30 mins) in the past 7 days.”

Mosaab al-Shamy was arrested with another 700 protesters on August 14 during the violent dispersal of the sit-in at Cairo’s Rabea al-Adaweya in support of deposed President Mohamed Morsi. He is an Al Jazeera correspondent based in South Africa, but following Morsi’s ouster was assigned to report from the Rabea sit-in.

General Mohamed al-Kheleissy, director of the criminal research division at the Prison Authority, denied on Monday that 450 imprisoned Brotherhood members were striking, in a special interview with the privately owned Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper.

Lawyer Osama al-Helw, a member of the Brotherhood leaders’ defense team, stated that the wife of former MP Mohamed al-Beltagy had informed him early on Tuesday that her husband had started a hunger strike to protest ill-treatment in prison.    

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