Prison hospital director abuses prisoners, denies them emergency treatment

June 29, 2016

Political prisoners in the Abadiyah prison in the Nile Delta city of Damanhour are suffering from deliberate medical negligence pursued by the new director of the Prison Infirmary, Wael Talha, EgyptWatch has learned. The new director does not permit medical emergencies to be treated and deliberately insults political prisoners through verbal abuse –according to claims by the prisoners.

Detainees of the Abadiyah prison communicated a distress call through one of the detainees’ wives that medical officer Wael Talha blocked access to the doctor’s department after 11 emergency cases reached the hospital, out of whom eight were suffering from very high temperature and were needing emergency medical attention as they were feared to have been victims of poisoning. They were instead expelled from the hospital and were not provided any medical care.

The detainees confirmed that the patients were: Ali Haikal, who has been suffering from fever for five consecutive days; Adel Rajab, Misab al-Aryan, Ayman al-Sandyuni, Ibrahim Habib, and Baha – all of whom are suffering from fever  and acute bronchitis; Mamoun Abu Shusha, who is suffering from high blood pressure; Shams Morsi al-Aswad, who is suffering from irregular heartbeats; Yahya Abdel Aati, who is also suffering from irregular heartbeats; and a detainee named Goma who has been suffering chronic vomiting and gastric ulcers for thirteen days.

The detainees said in their distress letter that with regard to the aforementioned persons, the Abadiyah Prison’s new director of infirmary said, and these are his exact words, “Take them out! When they are dead, bring them to us, we shall draw up death certificates.”

The detainees clarified that since the day this officer arrived to Abadiyah after being transferred from Tanta, he has lost all humanity and has been killing detainees by not providing obligatory medical assistance and treatment to critical patients.

Furthermore, the detainees said that inadequate treatment is provided to those suffering from chronic diseases like diabetes and cases that require the transferal to external hospitals due to their critical conditions are not being transferred. They also said that there is no surgeon, ENT doctor, or medical tests specialist. The physiotherapy department is not functional despite medical equipment being present as there is no doctor who would take decisions on treatments pertaining to cartilage patients from the Damanhur Medical College Hospital. There is no treatment for teeth except tooth extraction, despite medical equipment and 3 dentists being present.

Detainees say that they are dying due to medical negligence. They have requested immediate intervention of civil society associations and international and local human rights organisations to put an end to these crimes and expedite the suspension of Dr Wael Talha who has willfully discarded his humanity and has rejected the provision of medical treatment to political prisoners.

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