The Cairo Criminal Court overseeing the case known as the “Rabea operations room” has rejected an appeal on Wednesday from the US State Department, delivered through the general prosecutor’s office, requesting the release of Egyptian American Mohamed Soltan, the longest hunger striking detainee in Egypt’s prisons. The court asserted that Egypt’s judiciary refuses outside interference.
Soltan, along with 50 Muslim Brotherhood leaders in the case, faces charges of scheming to create chaos and planning raids on police stations and private property.
Soltan’s supporters and lawyers have warned that his health is quickly deteriorating after over 260 days on hunger strike. Soltan now attends the court sessions on a gurney and has recently been admitted to the prison hospital.
The court clarified, as reported by state-owned Al-Ahram, that the State Department’s letter came as a follow up measure after US President Barack Obama had raised the issue during his meeting with President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi in New York last month.
The letter said that the US administration is approaching the case from a humanitarian perspective away from any political considerations.
The prosecution also presented a report in today’s session saying that Soltan is “claiming” to be on hunger strike and that his health condition is stable.
Soltan’s lawyer Halim Hanish objected to these claims through his Twitter account, asserting that Soltan was brought into the court in an ambulance.
The court adjourned the case to September 5, while continuing to hold the defendants in detention.