1 June 2014

Egypt: Activists Protest in Solidarity With Hunger Striking Prisoners

Cairo — Tens of protesters gathered outside the Journalists' Syndicate in central Cairo on Sunday to demonstrate the detention of Mohamed Sultan and Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah Elshamy who have been on hunger strike for more than 120 days.

The protesters chanted in solidarity with the jailed prisoners and called for their release.

Activist Mona Seif, who was present at the demonstration, said that "The primary idea behind the stand is that every one of us has a responsibility to pressure for the sake of a political prisoner's freedom regardless of political differences."

She added that the goal is to "unite people around this idea."

Shamy was arrested last August as he was covering the dispersal of a sit-in supporting ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

Shamy began his hunger strike in January in protest of his detention without trial or clear charges.

His family has been unable to visit him for almost two weeks as he is kept in solitary confinement in Al-Aqrab Prison.

Sultan was arrested when police forces stormed his home last August in search for his father, who is an Islamic preacher.

Like Shamy, Sultan has been on hunger strike since January and was moved to a hospital on Saturday.

Doha El-Wazeer, a student at Cairo University who joined Sunday's protest, said that, "A stand in front of the Journalists' Syndicate is the least we can do for Abdullah and Sultan as they are on the verge of death."

"If we do not move for this, what will we move for?" She asked.

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