World Bulletin/News Desk
The Muslim Brotherhood held Egyptian prison authorities responsible for the death one day earlier of jailed group leader Tarek Ghandour, attributing his death to "negligence" after a marked deterioration of his health condition.
On its website, Ikhwanonline, the Brotherhood said that officials at the Nile Delta's Shebin al-Koum Prison had refused to transfer Ghandour to a hospital even though he was suffering internal bleeding.
"They let him bleed for hours before calling for a doctor or referring him to hospital," the group asserted.
Ghandour died Wednesday at a public hospital to which he had been transferred after suffering health complications inside his prison cell.
His son, Ziad, said via Twitter that his father had suffered internal bleeding inside his cell without receiving any medical attention for four and a half hours on Wednesday, one week after undergoing surgery on his esophagus at a prison hospital.
Rabie al-Shami, a friend of Ghandour's, said his family and friends had faced obstacles at the hospital before they could receive his body for burial, despite not having pressed charges following his death.
"And of course the hospital reports cleared the hospital staff and the prison authorities of any wrongdoing," al-Shami said.
A senior officer in Egypt's prison authority denied that prison officials had neglected Ghandour's deteriorating medical condition.
"Over the past several days, [Ghandour's] condition had been deteriorating," the official, requesting anonymity, told Anadolu Agency.
He added that prison doctors had failed to prevent Ghandour's death because his condition had been "beyond treatment."
A provincial security official also denied accusations of negligence.
"Ghandour's death has no criminal implications," the official, requesting anonymity, told AA. "There was no negligence towards the prisoner in any way."
Ghandour, who had been a practicing physician, was arrested last December. He was recently sentenced to five years in prison on violence-related charges.
Ghandour had played a central role running the main field hospital at Cairo's Rabaa Square sit-in, staged by supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi, before it was cleared by security forces last summer in a day-long operation that left hundreds dead and thousands injured.
Ghandour had also helped run a makeshift hospital in Cairo's Tahrir Square during the 2011 uprising that led to the ouster of autocrat Hosni Mubarak.
The Egyptian Observatory for Rights and Freedoms, a local NGO, described Ghandour's death as "the latest incident signaling systematic willful neglect by Egyptian prison authorities, which aims to give prisoners a slow death."
Morsi, the country's first freely elected president and a Brotherhood leader, was ousted by the military last year following opposition protests against his single year in office.
Since then, Egypt's military-backed authorities have launched an unrelenting crackdown on dissent, which has mainly targeted Morsi's Islamist supporters.
There are no official estimates on the number of people who have been rounded up for opposing Egypt's current army-backed authorities.
However, the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights, a local NGO, recently documented over 21,000 cases of people who had been subject to prosecution since Morsi's ouster.
The authorities accuse Morsi's supporters and Brotherhood members of sponsoring violence, while the Brotherhood accuses Egypt's army-backed authorities of killing and jailing its political opponents.
Last Mod: 13 Kasım 2014, 15:01