Egypt Says it's Probing Loss of life of Imprisoned US Citizen

Egypt stated Tuesday it could examine the dying in custody of a U.S. citizen who had long past on a starvation strike as a part of a six-year combat in opposition to what he insisted used to be wrongful imprisonment.

Mustafa Kassem, 54, an Egyptian-born auto portions broker from Lengthy Island, New York, died past due Monday of center failure after a starvation strike he started final yr, his legal professionals stated.

Rights Workforce Says Prisoners Pass on Starvation Strike in EgyptThe world rights workforce on Wednesday referred to as on government to research the prisoners’ allegations of torture and different abuses

The case has skilled a focus at the risks of Egyptian prisons, the place many inmates are serving time for crimes they insist they didn’t dedicate, or have now not been charged in any respect, as President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi escalates a crackdown on dissent.

Egypt’s leader prosecutor ordered an post-mortem and stated officers are wondering all medical doctors who oversaw Kassem’s care in jail and on the Cairo College clinic the place he died.

In Washington, Assistant Secretary of State for Close to Japanese Affairs David Schenker advised journalists that Kassem’s dying used to be “pointless, tragic and avoidable.”

“I can proceed to boost our severe issues about human rights and American citizens detained in Egypt at each alternative,” he stated.

How Egypt’s President Tightened his Grip In the back of the scenes, President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi’s closest advisers remodeled the charter to lengthen his presidency and tighten his grip on Egypt. Now not because the decades-long rule of Hosni Mubarak has such a lot energy been concentrated within the palms of 1 guy

Kassem used to be in Cairo to talk over with circle of relatives in August 2013 when his legal professionals say he used to be mistakenly swept up in a limiteless dragnet all through the violent dispersal of an Islamist sit-in that killed loads of other folks.

That summer season, safety forces descended on supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi, who hailed from the Muslim Brotherhood, in what was referred to as the the “Rabaa Bloodbath.”

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Kassem used to be exchanging cash at a shopping center close to Cairo’s Rabaa al-Adawiya Sq. when police stopped him and requested to look identity. When he passed over his U.S. passport, officials abruptly began beating him, and detained him. He used to be held for 5 years earlier than he used to be charged.

Then in 2018, in a mass trial of over 700 defendants broadly condemned via human rights organizations, Kassem used to be sentenced to 15 years beneath a contentious anti-protest regulation. After that, he refused to consume anything else however vegetable juice, his legal professionals stated. Remaining week, he stopped even ingesting.

When President Donald Trump secured the discharge of Egyptian-American rights suggest Aya Hijazi, who used to be imprisoned for 3 years in Egypt on false fees, Kassem appealed to the U.S. management for assist. Vice President Mike Pence raised the problem final yr with el-Sissi.

How Sissi’s Egypt Fingers Out JusticeEgyptian courts have sentenced some 3,000 other folks to dying since 2014, when President Abdel Fatah el-Sissi took energy, consistent with the Arab Community for Human Rights Knowledge

El-Sissi got here to energy the similar summer season of 2013 and has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent, silencing critics and jailing 1000’s. Rights teams accuse Egyptian prosecutors of detaining other folks with out proof, denying them get right of entry to to legal professionals and an even probability to attraction.

“It’s a frightening precedent,” Hijazi, who pressed for Kassem’s unlock, advised The Related Press. “Each for what it method for the numerous political prisoners on starvation strike in Egypt at the moment … but additionally for imprisoned U.S. electorate that experience referred to as on American government to answer no avail.”

Hijazi stated Kassem used to be the 5th individual to die in an Egyptian jail during the last month.

“He used to be focused now not as a result of he used to be a felony, however as a result of he used to be American,” she added, talking about his arrest and imprisonment.

U.N. professionals not too long ago stated that “brutal” jail prerequisites, together with deprivation of necessary diabetes medication, contributed to Morsi’s dying.

UN Requires Impartial Investigation into Loss of life of Egypt’s MorsiUN human rights workplace requires suggested, independent, clear investigation into surprising dying of former Egyptian president Mohammed Morsi in Cairo courtroom, the place he used to be on trial on espionage fees

The dying of Kassem, who suffered from diabetes, brought on accusations of clinical negligence via activists, who say government limited his get right of entry to to much-needed medicine all through years of detention.Kassem’s case evoked that of Morsi, who used to be held in the similar infamous Tora jail. The divisive however democratically-elected former president died final yr whilst on trial in a Cairo court, six years after his overthrow amid mass protests in opposition to his rule.

About the author

Seth Sale

Seth Sale

Seth Sale is an all-around geek who loves learning new stuff every day. With a background in computer science and a passion for web-based technologies and Gadgets, she focuses on writing about Web Trends, Smartphones, and Tablets.

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