Imprisoned in Egypt, hunger-striking Al-Jazeera journalist is close to death
Egyptian authorities move him from prison cell
Jailed Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah el-Shamy, who has been on hunger strike in Egypt for more than 100 days, is near to death according to his doctor.
“He has started to have impaired liver and kidney function,” said the doctor, Mohamed Osama el-Homsi. “It means that his organs are in danger.”
He has lost a third of his body weight. El-Homsi said El-Shamy’s condition was life-threatening and he could “die within a few days”.
He was moved from his cell in Tora prison to an undisclosed location after his lawyer, Shaaban Saeed, asked the authorities to transfer him to hospital.
El-Shamy was arrested on 14 August last year while covering a violent police raid on a Cairo mosque where supporters of Mohamed Morsi, Egypt’s toppled president, were holding a sit-in. He has never been charged.
In a letter from prison a week ago, El-Shamy said he was questioned by guards on two consecutive days who urged him to give up his hunger strike.
Three other Al-Jazeera English journalists are also being held in Tora prison: the former BBC correspondent Peter Greste, Cairo bureau chief Mohammed Fahmy and producer Baher Mohammed. They were detained on 29 December last year.
They have been charged with spreading false news and aligning with the Muslim Brotherhood, a group that the current Egyptian government considers to be a “terrorist” organisation. Their trial is due to resume on Thursday (15 May).
Al Jazeera strongly denies the accusations made against all its staff and has called on the Egyptian authorities to free them, as have the British and Ameriucan governments.
guardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media 2014