Protest to save hunger striking detainees Sunday
Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy - REUTERS

CAIRO: A group of activists announced they would demonstrate Sunday in solidarity with two detainees, Al-Jazeera journalist Abdullah El-Shamy and son of a Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Sultan, who are on a hunger strike to protest their detentions.

The protest is called “Dying to Live” and will demand their release after months of detention, and will take place outside the Press Syndicate at 6:00 p.m., according to the event’s statement on Facebook.

Arrested on August 14, 2013, Shamy started a hunger strike on January 21 this year in protest of his renewed detention without evidence to the charges against him. He was reported to have lost a third of his body weight; photos taken of him at Tora prison raised concerns about his health status after more than 120 days of  a hunger strike.

“I have requested several medical checkups from independent sources but yet this has not been provided,” Shamy said in a smuggled video from prison on May 14.

He said that he recorded this video for historical reasons, “to hold the Egyptian government, the Egyptian Judiciary, and the Egyptian prosecutor responsible if anything ever happens to me.”

Gehad Khaled, Abdullah el-Shamy’s wife, previously announced a hunger strike in solidarity with her husband. She wrote on her Twitter account on May 15 that she learned that Tora Prison officials begun force-feeding Shamy in order to prove that he was not on a hunger strike. Her statement was made in response of the pictures of Shamy eating that circulated on social media.

Sultan was arrested on Aug. 27, 2013. He has been on a hunger strike for 105 days since he started on Jan. 26 after his detention was repeatedly renewed, according to the event’s statement on Facebook.

The statement noted that there has been a severe deterioration in Sultan’s health, which may be life-threatening.

Amnesty International urged May 13 an “urgent action” campaign demanding the release of the two detainees; Shamy and Sultan.

The National Council for Human Rights announced it will send a delegation to visit both detainees on May 31 to inspect their health situation, but nothing was mentioned whether there was a visit or not.

Three other Al-Jazeera English correspondents were arrested in late December charged with inciting violence, committing terrorism, and spreading false information, and are among 20 defendants who are pending trial in a case known as the “Mariott Cell” case, so called for the hotel in which some were staying.

The trial for this group is scheduled to reconvene Sunday.

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