The Doctors Syndicate has requested permission to visit detained student Esraa al-Taweel in Qanater Women’s Prison to assess her condition as her family and lawyers argue she is being denied urgently needed medical care.
Taweel became one of at least 200 individuals forcibly disappeared by security forces when she was arrested on June 1, only surfacing in a prison outside Cairo some two weeks later. Her detention has been renewed on several occasions since then.
Taweel suffered nerve damage when she was shot during the dispersal of a peaceful protest on January 25, 2014 and was temporarily confined to a wheelchair last year. Her family says that prison authorities have denied her requests to undergo physiotherapy. They fear she could become paralyzed.
In a letter to the prosecutor general, Interior Ministry and National Council for Human Rights, the Doctors Syndicate said medical reports show Taweel suffered complications from the bullet wound. The syndicate said she needs to continue physiotherapy so that her condition will not further deteriorate.
Taweel’s family also complained that the prison doctor has refused to offer her any treatment because he claims she has an untreatable permanent disability, the letter said.
The syndicate has requested that a delegation of neurologists and a representative of the National Council for Human Rights visit Taweel to assess her condition and decide on the necessary treatment.
Taweel was arrested with two friends outside a restaurant on June 1 and has been jailed for over three months on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization — namely the Muslim Brotherhood — and disseminating false information to foreign entities.
The 23-year-old’s whereabouts were unknown for two weeks following her arrest until she was sighted at Qanater Women’s Prison, where she remains to this day.
Last Tuesday, the prosecution renewed Taweel’s detention for another 15 days after a medical report by the prison hospital indicated that her condition was stable.
Taweel’s defense team has long called for her release on medical grounds.