Security forces threatened to tear gas 34 detainees held at Ain Shams Police Station, coercing them into ending the hunger strike they had begun earlier in the day, according to a statement released by the Freedom for the Brave campaign.
On Sunday night, the detainees had declared a hunger strike after they were reportedly beaten for calling for medical help for a fellow inmate.
The inmate had started to show the initial signs of a stroke, the statement said, prompting the other detainees to scream for help.
“Not only did officers at the police station ignore the critical case, they beat everyone in the cell,” the statement read. Their belongings were also reportedly stolen at the behest of the head of the police station.
The detainees started an open-ended hunger strike to protest their mistreatment. Security forces responded by firing tear gas to force them to end the strike.
In a similar case, a journalist detained at the Abu Zaabal Prison was also strong-armed into ending his hunger strike, the Freedom for the Brave page reported.
Ahmed Gamal Zeyada was threatened with solitary confinement or a transfer back to the police station “where they will deal with him” should he continue his protest action, the statement claimed.
Over the past weeks, a wave of hunger strikes swept through prisons and police stations as political detainees called for justice, with demands ranging from better jail conditions to release.
Late last month, prominent activist Alaa Abd El Fattah joined other political detainees in a hunger strike against his detention. He is currently serving time for violating the Protest Law, along with 24 other activists. On June 11, a court sentenced the defendants in absentia to 15 years in prison, along with a LE100,000 fine each. Abd El Fattah was arrested at the court after the verdict was pronounced, and has filed for a retrial.
Abd El Fattah’s younger sister Sanaa Seif, who was arrested last June near the Ettehadiya Presidential Palace while peacefully marching against the Protest Law, has also joined the hunger strike, as has prominent activist Mahienour al-Massry.