CAIRO: Hunger-striking Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy was given a release order by Attorney General Hisham Barakat Monday evening for medical reasons, as were 12 other people charged in the same case.
Shamy was on a hunger strike for 148 days after being arrested during the Rabaa dispersal on Aug. 14, 2013.
Last week the National Council for Human Rights visited Shamy and political activist Mohamed Sultan, after news of their deteriorating health conditions became public, according to NCHR member George Ishaq in a press statement.
On May 14, Shamy leaked a recorded video from his cell in which he said, “I have requested several medical checkups from independent sources but this has not yet been provided.”
Despite the deterioration in the health of Shamy and Sultan, the June 30 fact-finding committee, established by interim President Adly Mansour in January 2014, visited Shamy on June 5, and released a report saying he was in good health.
These claims were denied in a statement published on the Freedom for the Brave movement’s Facebook page on June 9. They said that Sultan’s family found him in critical condition when they last visited him. “After 135 days on hunger strike, Sultan is not capable of moving anymore and is using a wheelchair,” the statement read.
Likewise, a request to transfer Shamy to a real hospital by his family was denied. “No information has been released on his health condition yet,” Freedom for the Brave stated Monday.
Hafez Abu Sedaa, head of the Egyptian Organization for Human Rights (EOHR), on June 9 called on the government to immediately release both detainees due to their critical health conditions. The EOHR announced its concerns over the detainees’ health and called on Barakat to immediately send a medical team to inspect them.
Sultan is still in custody, but Shamy and 12 others received a medical release. The other 12 are Mohamed ElSawy, Mahmoud ElShazly, Khaled Abdel Razeq, AbdelQader ElHamady, Mohamed ElAshry, Mahmoud Mahmoud Sallam, Mohamed Ahmed, Ibrahim El-Shafey, Moaz Arafa, Moustafa Gomaa, Yasser Abdellatif and Yahiya Hassan.