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Egypt: Hazem Abu Ismail goes into coma in detention

Egyptian Salafi politician, Hazem Salah Abu Ismail, has gone into a coma in detention after allegedly being attacked by jailers, the Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated Freedom and Justice Party announced yesterday.

Quoting rights sources, the Islamist party said that Abu Ismail’s medical condition was resulting from being “attacked and assaulted by jailers” in Egypt’s notorious Scorpio prison located in the capital city of Cairo.

Abu Ismail’s incident, the political party pointed out, had come amid a campaign that has seen thousands of prisoners, including Abu Ismail, entering an open hunger strike to demand the disclosure of the circumstances of the recent death of the country’s former president Mohamed Morsi.

Morsi, the first democratically elected president, died last week after falling into a coma inside his soundproof glass cage during his trial on “espionage” charges.

Egypt’s Court of Cassation last month upheld a five-year imprisonment sentence against Abu Ismail and five others for “inciting and sieging Cairo’s Nasr City court on 19 December 2012.” The Court was reported to have rejected a number of appeals recently submitted by Abu Ismail’s lawyer.

The case dates back to when Abu Ismail’s supporters demonstrated in the vicinity of the Nasr City court in 2012, demanding the release of one of the supporters, who was convicted of “possessing unlicensed an automatic firearm.”

The defendants were referred to Cairo’s criminal court afterwards.

This is the third verdict against Abu Ismail, after the same court upheld two previous sentences of seven-year imprisonment for “forgery of his mother’s nationality” in April 2015, as well as another one-year in prison for “insulting the judiciary in December 2014.”

Abu Ismail was arrested after the Morsi’s overthrow in July 2013.

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