CAIRO: Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya leader Essam Derbala died in Al-Akrab prison Sunday amid allegations “he died due to medical malpractice.”
The Islamist Building and Development Party (BDP); the group’s political arm said in a statement that “he was killed in the prison of Al-Aqrab in Torah due to malpractice. He went into irreversible coma and died.”
The group claimed that “the prison administration has denied him access to medicine over the last months and refused to transport him to any hospital in spite of his deteriorating case.”
However, Interior Minister Assistant for Prison Sector Hassan al-Sohagy told Youm7 that Derbala’s death has no “criminal suspicion,” adding that the dead body will be given to his family.
BDP spokesperson Khaled al-Sheirf confirmed that Derbala was diabetic; the Ministry of Interior said he died due to fever, high blood pressure and high blood sugar.
Derbala was detained on May 13 over charges of belonging to the pro-Muslim Brotherhood’s National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy (NASL) that was outlawed by a court verdict.
The group lawyer Adel Muawd said the prosecution renewed Derbala’s imprisonment for 15 days pending investigation.
Muawd said that another group member, called Ezzat al-Salamouni, died at the prison last week, without going into further details.
Derbala has been released in 2005 after serving a sentence of 25 years in jail over charges of attacking Asyut security directorate in October 1981 following the assassination of late President Anwar Sadat.
He has founded the BDP following the January 2011 uprising.
In August 2013, some 37 people, who allegedly belong to the Brotherhood, suffocated to death when two police officers threw tear gas bombs inside a police truck with 45 prisoners inside while transferring them to Abu Zaabal Prison.
Lawyer Imam Afify, 63, died in April after a brain hemorrhage that put him in a coma after being “beaten” while being transferred to the Matariya police station.