Deteriorating health of student journalist 125 days on hunger strike

August 23, 2016

Photojournalist and student Khaled Sahloub has entered his 125th day of a hunger strike protesting mistreatment in Aqrab prison. The media student of Cairo University has been in solitary confinement at Aqrab since the beginning of August, according to his family, and has been exposed to all types of torture, including electric shocks, physical and psychological abuse. Because of the increased torture, Khaled was taken to hospital where he remained for three days before returning to his cell in Aqrab on August 4.

Khaled has been suffering from a drop in his blood sugar levels and frequent blackouts due to his hunger strike. According to his family, the 24-year-old student has also suffered from a stomach ulcer, low blood pressure, and pains in his bones, since his arrest. Meanwhile, prison management has refused to allow him to seek medical help, as well as denying any visitations or the entry of medicines and clothes to his cell. Khaled told his family in a letter that the “Prison wardens want to kill me. They are beating me on a daily basis and I’m dying”. Khaled’s sister reports that the prison warden had threatened him saying “Your fate here will be your death, and we will write in your death certificate that you died as a result of poor circulation.”

Khaled is a freelance journalist at Rassd News Network. He was arrested in January 2014 on charges of belonging to the Helwan Brigades, a militant group that was filmed in the street carrying machine guns and vowing to attack police and army personnel. He, along with dozens of other defendants are facing terrorism charges. He was arrested along with two other students, after which he claimed he was tortured in the national security apparatus headquarters.

Reports claim that security officials in Aqrab prison have hooked Khaled to intravenous therapy while he is handcuffed to a hospital bed to force him to end his hunger strike. The family has further said that he has lost around 30kg during the hunger strike.


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