US-Egyptian detainee moved to Cairo hospital

AP News
Posted: Oct 08, 2014 2:47 PM

CAIRO (AP) — An Egyptian-American prisoner on hunger strike for more than eight months was transferred to an intensive care unit after his health deteriorated dramatically, Amnesty International said Wednesday, calling for his immediate release.

Mohammed Soltan, 26, was transferred to the Cairo hospital on Tuesday after prison medics refused to be held liable for his deteriorating condition, the London-based rights group said.

Soltan's brother Omar wrote on his Facebook page that tests indicate he may have internal bleeding in his brain. Amnesty, quoting his family, said Soltan has been passing out and is bleeding from his mouth and nose.

Soltan began his hunger strike over eight months ago to protest his detention and trial. He was arrested in August 2013 as part of a sweeping crackdown on supporters of ousted Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and faces charges including spreading false information and financing an anti-government sit-in.

Soltan, the son of a prominent Muslim Brotherhood member who is also in prison, was arrested when security forces came looking for his father at his house. They didn't find the father at the time, but arrested the son instead, the family said.

Soltan's trial resumes on Saturday.

In an urgent action statement, Amnesty called for his immediate release, saying "the charges against him do not constitute a recognizable criminal offense."

A number of detainees in Egypt have begun hunger strikes protesting their detention under a controversial law that restricts protests. Another prominent activist, Ahmed Douma, serving a three-year prison sentence for violating the protest law, was transferred to hospital earlier this week after his health deteriorated.