CAIRO: Nourhan Hefzy, the wife of imprisoned formerly hunger-striking activist Ahmed Doma, has called once again for her husband to be transferred to a private hospital due to what she says is his deteriorating health.
“Ahmed is dying… he needs immediate transfer to a private hospital,” said Hefzy in comments to Akher el-Nahar TV show Thursday. She said her husband’s health status was “dangerous,” and that he already suffered from stomach ulcers, which worsened after his month-long hunger strike.
Medical officials at the Doctors’ Syndicate in Thursday statements called on authorities to take “quick action and bypass normal procedures or there would be a grave threat to the patient’s (Doma) life.”
Last week, Doma announced a temporary halt to his hunger strike after “unbearable stomach ulcers and pain,” Hefzy said on Facebook Monday.
Hefzy added that when she visited Doma Thursday, people carried him to the visiting room. “He was so sick and could not sit down… he repeatedly vomited and fainted,” she said.
Earlier Friday, Doma was transferred to Manial hospital for medical checkups and was returned to the prison hospital. “Security forces refused to keep Doma at Manial hospital,” Hefzy told Youm7 early Friday.
Doma is serving three years in prison over charges he was involved in violent incidents in November 2013 outside Abdeen Court.
On Sept.15, Hefzy wrote an open letter to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi published in Youm7 where she demanded an immediate release for Doma. Addressing Sisi, she said, “The Constitution gives you the right to presidential and health pardons, and the attorney general has the right to abolish the verdict and release [Doma] until the appeal [is considered].”
Others speak out on Doma health status
Along with Hefzy, activists and popular figures reacted to news circulated about Doma’s health. Human rights activist and lawyer Khaled Ali wrote on his Facebook page Thursday, “Doma is really dying in prison, even though he ended his hunger strike, the Interior Ministry refuses to send him to the hospital.”
In turn, former Presidential candidate Hamdeen Sabbahi tweeted, “Save yourselves by saving Ahmed Doma.”
New prison law amendments
A new list of regulations and amendments to some articles in prison laws was announced in September. The changes gave the final say on whether a prisoner can be treated at a private hospital to the prison’s doctors, and not the prosecution.
“The responsibility of Doma’s life lies under the Ministry of Interior and Prisons Authority, and if his life is under threat, they are the one to be blamed for that,” said Mohamed Zarea, the head of the Arab Penal Reform Organization.
Zarea told The Cairo Post that the provision of medical care at prisons is a “duty stipulated in the Constitution.” He also noted that “if the prison lacks this medical care, the authority of the prison should refer the prisoner to an external hospital.”
Doma is a founder of the opposition movement Kefaya, which emerged under the regime of former President Hosni Mubarak. Doma is known to have been in a political battle for 10 years, during which he was imprisoned under different successive regimes in Egypt, according to writer Ahdaf Soweif in her Thursday article in Al-Shorouq newspaper.
Doma is also facing remand pending his trial in the case known as “the Cabinet Incidents” that took place in 2011.