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Egyptian political prisoners go on hunger strike

23 December 2013 19:13

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Egyptian political detainees, mainly Muslim Brotherhood members, have launched a hunger strike to protest their deteriorating condition.

Local media say the inmates are Muslim Brotherhood members, including senior officials like Khairat al-Shater.

According to the Brotherhood, some 450 prisoners are now refusing to eat. Reports say the detainees in Torah prison are tortured and patients are denied proper medical care.

The prisoners say they were systematically abused and tortured by prison authorities. Sources say military-installed interim authorities have subjected political detainees to torture and other forms of ill-treatment at the main detention centers in Cairo and several other major cities.

The strike comes as Egypt’s army-backed authorities intensify a crackdown on supporters of ousted president, Mohammad Morsi.

Egypt’s National Alliance for Supporting Legitimacy recently accused security forces of beating and torturing female protesters in the latest security crackdown against Morsi’s supporters.

On Monday, Egypt sentenced three leading anti-Mubarak activists to three years in prison each as part of a crackdown on critics of the interim government. They are key members of the April 6 Youth Movement that spearheaded the 2011 uprising against Egypt’s long-time dictator, Hosni Mubarak.

Meanwhile, Egyptian prosecutors have referred Morsi to a third criminal trial on murder and other charges related to a mass jailbreak during the 2011 revolution.

The military-backed government of Adly Mansour has launched a bloody crackdown on Morsi supporters and arrested more than 2,000 Muslim Brotherhood members.

Morsi’s supporters have been holding weekly demonstrations to condemn the interim government’s harsh crackdown on Muslim Brotherhood and the arrest of its leaders and members.

They have been demanding justice for Brotherhood supporters killed in the army crackdown following Morsi’s ouster in early July.

The interim government took power after Morsi was ousted by the army on July 3.

Hundreds of supporters of the group have been killed in clashes with the army over the past few months.

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