The life of Abdullah Al-Shamy is in danger, as his health has severely deteriorated after being on a hunger strike for 114 days. His doctor said he is in a critical situation and expected Al-Shamy’s death within a few days.
Yesterday, Al-Shamy was moved from his cell in Tora Prison to an unknown destination after his lawyer requested his immediate transfer to hospital. This was followed by Al-Shamy’s medical tests which showed that he started to have impaired liver and kidney function, which means that his organs are in danger, according to his doctor Mohamed Al-Homsi.
Today is the third day for the disappearance of Al-Shamy and neither his family, nor his lawyer have any idea of his whereabouts, they fear for his life.
Gehad Khaled, Al-Shamy’s wife, who also started an open hunger strike in solidarity with her husband for over 60 days, was admitted to hospital yesterday after her health severely deteriorated and her family stated that she is on the verge of entering into a coma. The wife and husband, who married a year ago, are now facing death together.
Al-Shamy was arrested on 14 August last year, while covering the forced dispersal of Rabia Al-Adaweya sit-in which left thousands of peaceful anti-coup civilians killed at the hands of security forces. Throughout 10 months of detention on remand and without being brought up on formal charges by the court.
Despite his near death and his severely health deterioration, the Cairo Criminal Court decided to view his appeal on his detention pending investigation for further 45 days on Thursday 15 May 2014.
In a letter dated 6 May 2014, Al-Shamy stated that he was question by prison guards for two consecutive days to convince him to give up his hunger strike, which he considered as a positive sign and “an indication that victory is imminent”
In a 6 May letter from prison, Elshamy said he was questioned by guards on two consecutive days who urged him to give up his hunger strike.
The violations against journalists including killing, arrest and detention and military trials, in Egypt since 3 July 2013 recorded the highest rates in Egypt’s history. Human Rights Monitor has documented the killing of 14 journalists and the arrest of 94 during the past 10 months.
Freedom House and the Committee to Protect Journalists have ranked Egypt as an unfree country with regards to press freedom.
Human Rights Monitor demands the immediate release of Abullah Al-Shamy and holds the Egyptian governments fully responsible for Al-Shamy’s life. HRM also urges the current authorities to reveal the whereabouts of Abdullah Al-Shamy and to grant him immediate medical care and adequate compensation for his unlawful detention which continues to date.
HRM also calls the Egyptian authorities to respect its international obligations and to respect the rights to life which is he basic and most fundamental right enshrined in international conventions and agreements as well as the rights of journalists in seeking and accessing information according to Article 19 in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.