Hunger-striking activist Ahmed Douma in bad condition says wife

Hunger-striking activist Ahmed Douma’s health is rapidly deteriorating, putting him at great risk, his wife Nourhan Hefzy reported on Tuesday. 

“Ahmed is very sick, he’s vomiting everything he ingests, including water,” she posted on her personal Facebook account, adding that the prison administration refused to transfer him to the hospital — as had been recommended by private physicians — or provide her with a copy of the results of his electrocardiogram (ECG), blood pressure and blood sugar level tests.

On Tuesday, Douma entered his sixth day of hunger strike, along with April 6 Youth Movement co-founder Mohamed Adel, Wael Metwally and Mohamed Abdel Rahman, in solidarity with fellow detainee Alaa Abd El Fattah and as a part of the “We are fed up” campaign objecting to their treatment in prison. 

According to Hefzy, Douma’s most recent check up revealed that he suffers from severe Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD), along with ulceration of the stomach lining. “On the third day of strike, he began vomiting everything he ingested, including water and medication, reaching up to 29 bouts of vomiting within 48 hours,” she elaborated.

Hefzy added that the prison administration continues to neglect Douma’s state of poor health, only starting to keep regular records of his blood pressure and blood sugar levels after fellow hunger-striking activist Mohamed Nouby lost consciousness inside his cell for over an hour without receiving any help.

“Due to our previous experience with prison healthcare, and since prison physicians refused to let Ahmed in on his test results, he demanded a visit from a specialist, who recommended his immediate transfer to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU). The prison administration brought in another specialist who confirmed the need to transfer Douma to the hospital where he has to undergo regular MRI, ECG, blood imaging and liver function tests to monitor his irregular pulse, vomiting and breathing,” she added.

In April, the Abdeen Misdemeanors Court upheld the three-year sentences handed down to April 6 figures Ahmed Maher, Mohamed Adel and Ahmed Douma for crimes under the Protest Law. Since then, a date to look into the appeal filed by late human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam Abdel Fattah in June has not been set.

Meanwhile, on her fifth day on hunger strike, the Qanater Khaireya prosecution office questioned young leftist activist Sanaa Seif, 20, regarding her strike in objection to her imprisonment and the detention of other activists for demonstrating against the Protest Law. The prosecution decided to transfer Seif to the prison hospital to assess her condition, the Hisham Mubarak Law center reported.

Seif was arrested while demanding the release of her hunger-striking brother Alaa Abd El Fattah, who was sentenced on June 11 to 15 years imprisonment on charges relating to his involvement in a non-violent demonstration against the Protest Law in November.

Since their imprisonment, both Abd El Fattah and Seif were largely restricted from visiting their hospitalized father, renowned human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif al-Islam, who passed away on August 27.

Seif was prompted to join the hunger strike movement after she and Alaa were permitted to attend her father’s funeral last week.

Other activists on hunger strike include, Islam Talaat and Yassin Mohamed, sentenced to 15 years imprisonment in absentia over the Shura Council protest case. They announced their strike at the Bread and Freedom Party headquarters on Monday, demanding the release of all those detained over charges related to the Protest Law, as well as the amending of the law in line with recommendations made by the National Council for Human Rights, in accordance with international standards and treaties mandated by article 93 of the Egyptian constitution.

23 detainees are currently on hunger strike in Egyptian prisons, the longest of which is Egyptian-American Mohamed Soltan, who entered his 219th day of hunger strike in Tora Prison on Tuesday and is reportedly in critical condition. Soltan was arrested whilst participating in a march supporting Morsi but still hasn’t been formally charged.

Islamist activist Ibrahim al-Yamany has also been on hunger strike for the past 138 days from Wadi Natrun Prison, while sisters Rasha and Hind Mounir are on their 25th day from Qanater Women’s Prison. The two sisters were arrested while participating in an Islamist march near downtown’s Ramses Square on August 16, 2013, and have been sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Other prisoners on hunger strike include Ahmed al-Masry (55 days), Mahmoud al-Ghandour (45 days), Abdullah Ghareeb (38 days), Magdy Khalifa (33 days), Ibrahim al-Sisi (12 days), Diaa Mahdy (10 days), Kareem Abdel Sattar (10 days), Momen Hamdy (10 days), Refaat al-Shafei (10 days), Ali Diab (10 days), Hassan Ghoneim (10 days), Abquareeno (10 days), Mostafa Fathi Zidan (8 days), Ahmed Gamal Ziada (8 days), Mohamed Nouby (6 days), and Hesham Mamdouh (5 days).


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