Hunger-Striking Soltan’s Prison Warden Referred to Investigation

The Cairo Criminal Court referred to investigation on Sunday the warden of the prison where hunger-striking detainee Mohamed Soltan is kept for his obstinacy in conducting a medical examination on Soltan and other detainees.

The court, which had earlier ordered the medical examination, postponed the trial of Soltan and 50 others to December 1. All defendants are to remain in jail pending the trial.

The court rejected in its previous session on November 5 a request by 12 committees and civil society organisations to release the Egyptian-American journalist. The organisations had submitted a letter to the head of the court, calling for Soltan’s release due to his poor health conditions.

The court had rejected on October 22 another request by the United States consul to release Soltan.

Soltan was arrested from his home on August 27, last year after the deadly dispersal of two camps set up in support of former President Mohamed Mursi following his ouster in July 2013. He has been on hunger-strike since January in protest over his detention, maintaining the longest hunger strike among those detained.

On hunger strike for over 290 days, Soltan’s life is believed to be in danger. He is the son of jailed Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Salah Soltan.

Soltan is being tried alongside the Muslim Brotherhood’s Supreme Guide Mohamed Badie and 49 others for managing an “operations room” following the dispersal of the two pro-Mursi camps in August 2013. The defendants are accused of using the operations room to “resist the state and spread chaos.”

Muslim Brotherhood leaders and supporters have often found themselves behind bars and facing courts since the ouster of Brotherhood member and former President Mursi in July last year. A court in Minya has served over 1000 Brotherhood supporters preliminary death sentences in March and April 2014.

The Brotherhood itself was listed as a terrorist organisation in December last year.

Source : Aswat Masriya