Mahmoud Mohamed Hussein’s, known as the “anti-torture t-shirt detainee”, health is rapidly deteriorating and he is in “urgent need” of surgery on his leg, according to his older brother Tarek “Tito” Mohamed.
Since 25 January 2014, Hussein has been detained without trial, on charges of belonging to a “banned” organisation. “Mahmoud’s health is very bad and he has lost a lot of weight; he is barely 50kg now,” Tito said in a public statement published on his Facebook account Monday.
Prior to being detained, Hussein was recovering from surgery on his right leg. According to Tito, Hussein was examined by several doctors two weeks ago, who concluded that he needs a second surgery on his leg since the side effects from the first operation surfaced. Furthermore he was found to have bone erosion in his leg. Doctors advised physical therapy five times a week for Hussein’s leg, in addition to a using crutch when walking.
The prison doctor conducts physical therapy sessions for Hussein only twice a week. Hussein was also denied a copy of the report listing his doctor’s recommendations. The physical therapy provided by the prison is useless, according to Tito, who said: “Mahmoud is still in pain and is not improving.”
“You are a doctor, so you should consider my state and treat me as a patient, not a prisoner, because your duty in life as a doctor is to treat patients in any place; in a clinic, in a hospital, in prison,” Tito quoted Hussein as saying to the prison doctor, whose response was: “No one can tell me what to do…Treat me like a police officer, not a doctor…Whatever I say, you should do.”
Hussein has now exceeded his legal remand period and continues to be held in prison without trial. By law, the maximum pre-trial detention period is set to two years.
Instead of being released from jail by law, Hussein’s case was referred to the National Security prosecution authorities last week, according to the Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE).
“I will not even begin to speak about medical care in prisons or the fact that doctors in prisons are barely doctors,” Tito said. He called on the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) and the Doctors Syndicate to intervene for the sake of Hussein’s health and to push for a check-up for him at an external hospital.
“It is our right, as Mahmoud’s family, to receive a medical report on the development of the situation regarding Mahmoud’s leg,” Tito said.
It has been more than a year since the two brothers last saw each other, due to the fact that Tito had been sentenced to three years in jail in a case related to the Muslim Brotherhood Guidance Bureau. Tito has been prosecuted under both the current regime and that of the Muslim Brotherhood. Tito was finally able to visit his brother in Tora Prison on Sunday.
“When I challenged the sentence, I was freed by court until a verdict is issued [on 29 March of this year,] so I was able to visit Mahmoud,” Tito said in a public statement he published on his Facebook account.
Hussein has been prevented from attending sessions to renew his detention, which must be renewed every 45 days. To date, his detention has been renewed more than 20 times. This has resulted in postponements that have extended the period of his detention outside the legal parameters for such extensions.