Medical report counters official statements on Mohamed Sultan’s health
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By AMIRA EL-FEKKI

CAIRO: The Freedom for the Brave Movement Sunday published a medical report on the deteriorating health condition of Tora prisoner Mohamed Sultan, in response to a state-affiliated committee’s statements on his health earlier this week.

In their press release, the movement said everything the committee said about Sultan enjoying a healthy life was untrue and that the committee “has not even visited Sultan in prison.”

The committee in question is called the June 30 Fact-Finding Committee, and was established after the ouster of former President Mohamed Morsi to investigate incidents relating to human rights, revolutionary martyrs and protests, and is currently working with the state-affiliated National Council for Human Rights (NCHR).

On June 5, the committee held a press conference and announced it had visited Sultan, provided him with medical assistance and doctors concluded that he was in good health, its Secretary General Omar Marwan said, although Sultan has been on a hunger strike since Jan. 26.

Freedom for the Brave, a popular movement supporting detainees and prisoners of conscience, stated that after 135 days on hunger strike, Sultan “is not capable of moving anymore and is using a wheelchair.”

The movement issued its report, allegedly concluded by Fatma Bayad, an independent neurosurgeon who visited Sultan on several occasions to examine him. According to the latest medical checkup by Bayad, Sultan’s blood sugar was below average, and he had poor blood circulation.

During their last visit to Sultan on June 7, his family noticed bluish marks on his body, which Bayad said based on an April 19 examination session, could be signs of an internal hemorrhage in the stomach or the brain, Freedom for the Brave reported June 8.

“His condition is getting worse,” said Sara Mohamed, a relative who visited Sultan on Saturday. “He cannot control his movement, there are scattered blue rashes on his body and his eyes are extremely red,” she added in statements to Al-Shorouq Sunday.

“When I asked Sultan why he was in a wheelchair, he told me he could barely keep himself up, and needed help walking,” Bayad reported on her visit to Sultan in jail on April 19.

Sultan has suffered from pulmonary clots for five years, for which he has been receiving treatment and following up with a medical center in the U.S. state of Ohio. Sultan was shot during the dispersal of Rabaa al-Adaweya square and the resultant arm injury required internal surgical wires that were removed in prison without proper preparation or anesthesia.

Moreover, Salah Sultan, Sultan’s father, claimed his son at one point in prison lost consciousness for nearly 17 consecutive hours and did not receive any medical care despite being transferred to a hospital, as “there were no doctors”, leaving him to be examined the next morning.

Not only have prison authorities and doctors neglected Sultan’s life-threatening illness and denied him treatment, but they have also been fabricating medical reports according to his father, who fears for his son’s life in the hands of the prison’s doctors.

Sultan has so far lost almost 92 pounds in jail, the Bayad medical report stated. Sultan’s International Normalized Ratio (INR) a blood coagulation measurement was 5.9, in comparison to an average rate of 1 to 1.5 and from 2 to 3 for people on medication. This indicates an increased likelihood for blood clots and poor blood circulation.

The doctor ended her report with a series of warnings and recommendations; mainly that Sultan’s medical file in prison is incomplete and lacks medical tests after the hunger strike and possible adverse effects on liver and kidney function as well as measures of body salts and minerals.

After coordinating with prison authorities, Bayad said that analysis of his tests is to be performed in an external laboratory as soon as a blood sample is obtained.

She also raised an alert against force-feeding Sultan, which she said could result in serious complications in his condition and would require immediate medical interference outside the prison hospital.

Sultan’s case, in parallel with the case of imprisoned Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy, has been the subject of controversy, wide criticism and protests for months, yet with little government response.

The NCHR, supposedly in favor of human rights protection, has done little despite announcing more than once its intention to visit Sultan and Shamy in jail to look into their cases.

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