A short story from Egypt: Imprisoned journalist Moataz Wadnan decided to go on a hunger strike, but was beaten by the prison officer

The headline sums up the story

Journalist Al-Moataz Mohamed Shams Al-Din, AKA “Moataz Wadnan”, informed his lawyer from the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) during his imprisonment renewal hearing that “Wael Ashraf”, Chief Detective of Aqrab (Scorpion) Prison- with the help of three detectives- dragged and bet him to force him to break his hunger strike.

This was transpired on the 7th of July, i.e. 10 days ago.

During his detention renewal hearing, which was considered today at the Police Cadets Institute affiliated to the Ministry of Interior, Wadnan tried to speak with the judge who is considering his imprisonment renewal, but the judge didn’t allow him to speak up. Moataz started to knock on the glass cage he was held in (defendants in this institute are held in a glass cage), so the judge took him out of the cage. He threatened to imprison him and return him back to the cage and refused to listen to him.

The beginning of the story:

Journalist Moataz Wadnan started his hunger strike on 14 June 2018 after he was completely denied visitation and the practice of any exercise. The prison’s administration didn’t allow him also to have access to any of personal hygiene aids or undergarments since the moment he was held on remand pending the case No. 441 of 2018 State Security i.e. on 18 February 2018.

Not only is Moataz being detained in a notorious maximum-security prison, AKA Aqrab (Scorpion) Prison, but he is also being subjected to harassment inside this prison!

Moataz’s real crime is conducting an interview with Hesham Geneina, the former head of the Central Auditing Authority (CAA), who is also behind bars.

Another assault (an old one):

During his last imprisonment renewal hearing before the State Security Prosecution, which was convened 15 days ago, Moataz Wadnan accused one of the prison’s detectives named “Mohamed Al-Wakeel” and the prison clinic nurse named “Ahmed Mady” of putting his own life in danger; by giving him a solution that causes a sudden raise in his blood sugar level, as it reached 335 while it was 40 before (which is too low making him suffering a significant weight loss), leading him to suffer from nervous system disorders. And when sending him to a neurologist and an Internal Medicine doctor, they reported they could find the reason that made him feel the pains and disorders in his nervous system.

How will the story end?

– We do not know

  • Journalist Moataz Wadnan told ANHRI’s lawyer that he will continue his hanger strike until he is transferred from the maximum-security prison to any other prison, like the rest of the prisoners held in custody pending the same case, and until he is allowed family visitation, even if this leads to his death inside jail.
  •  Moataz is a prisoner whose dream is not to be released, rather to be transferred to another prison that is more humane than the one he is being held in.