Senior judge and former parliamentarian, 77 year old Mahmoud al-Khodeiry, and journalist Hisham Jaafar began a hunger strike in Cairo on Saturday protesting against the “ill-treatment they receive in prison, as well as lack of medical care and denial of entry of medicines in the prisoners ward,” according to Hisham Jaafar’s lawyer on Monday evening.
The lawyer, Ahmad Madi, a member of Hisham’s defence team, said that “detainees, including Hisham Jaafar and judge Mahmoud al-Khodeiry, in the prisoners ward of Qasr al-Aini hospital, have entered a hunger strike since last Saturday”.
The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) has asserted that “Hisham Jafar, who was moved to Qasr al-Aini Hospital to receive medicine among a number of physically ill inmates, including the imprisoned judge Mahmoud al-Khodeiry and others, announced a hunger strike three days ago in protest against their deprivation of medical treatment, as they weren’t allowed to receive medicines and threatened to be returned to Aqrab Prison before recovering or having the treatment they are in need of.” It was in protest over “the slow death” they were facing, as they described, that they began the hunger strike.
The Egyptian Coordination for Freedoms and Rights has reported that the Qasr al-Aini hospital management has returned Hisham Jaafar to Aqrab prison on Tuesday despite his health conditions being critical and he suffers from untreated prostate cancer.
ANHRI said, “Hisham Jafar is a prisoner of conscience who has been held on remand for ten months. Being deprived from medicine or having the surgery he needs constitutes a violation of the Prisons Regulation Law 396/1956, which requires the intervention of the Public Prosecution to hold those responsible for such abuses accountable”.
Hisham Jafar is a member of the Journalists Syndicate and the director of Mada Foundation for Media Development. He was arrested in October 2015, and since then the Public Prosecution refuses to release him or bring him to trial. Mahmoud al-Khodeiry is a senior judge and former head of the legislation committee in the dissolved people’s assembly and head of the Alexandria Judges Club. He was arrested in November 2013, aged 73, over charges of torturing 11 people inside a tourism company.