Detained journalist Mahmoud Al-Saqa will soon end his 15-day extended detention and await a new decision regarding the potential continuity of his time in custody. According to his lawyers and family, the journalist’s health is deteriorating.
Al-Saqa’s sister a message from her brother published on her Facebook account on Tuesday evening. “I am alright. I have faith in God because I am right, and I wait for the day I will be released,” the message read.
However, Al-Saqa’s health has continued to worsen. In his message, the journalist said he was visited by a consultant gastroenterologist, who prescribed him medicine for his stomach. However, the medicine has not been made available to him.
“The doctor told me that sleeping on the floor is damaging my spine and the bones in my side, and that I should sleep on a bed. But there has been no response from prison authorities,” Al-Saqa claimed.
According to his sister, 88 days had passed since Al-Saqa’s request for proper medical examination and tests.
Earlier in August, journalists rallied at the Press Syndicate in solidarity with Al-Saqa. According to the Doctors Syndicate at the time, Al-Saqa had been vomiting blood (haematemesis) for at least 25 days, and had been held in solitary confinement for more than 85 days. The cell has no proper ventilation and lacks basic essentials for living, the syndicate clarified.
Detained along with recently released journalist Amr Badr on 1 May during the infamous police break-in of the Press Syndicate, Al-Saqa is viewed by his supporters in the human rights and press community as being victimised by the regime for his opposition to the Egyptian-Saudi maritime border agreement.
A wave of protests took place in April against the Egyptian government giving Saudi Arabia sovereignty over the Red Sea islands of Tiran and Sanafir.
But despite the release of dozens of protesters, as well as prominent rights lawyer Malek Adly and journalist Badr, Al-Saqa remains in detention.