Due to the inhumane and dangerous conditions that Egyptian citizen Aisha Mohamed Khairat Al-Shater has been facing in Egyptian prisons, including denying her the most basic rights, while being held in pre-trial custody pending the political case No. 1552 of 2018, she is suffering from negative health complications, most notably a bone marrow failure which has led to severe blood cell shortages in “platelets and erythrocytes” in conjunction with bleeding, a very dangerous injury that portends an inevitable immature death if Aisha does not receive proper treatment as soon as possible.

Aisha receives medications to activate bone marrow maternal cells as well as some supportive treatment such as blood and platelets transfusion, amid absence of a report on even receiving antibiotics, although the bone marrow examination shows that the maternal white blood cells responsible for immunity are almost non-existent.

The Egyptian authorities should immediately transfer Aisha Khairat Al-Shater to Nasser Institute for Research and Treatment and provide due health care appropriate for her condition to end her severe health suffering. We also warn of serious complications that may lead to immature death of Aisha if the authorities insist on denying her the right to appropriate treatment.

So far, there is no report about the result of treatment she receives, although the completion of the same treatment course is only likely to succeed. In cases of bone marrow failure, the only possible treatment, according to specialists, is the transplantation of bone marrow. However, Aisha has unfortunately received several blood and platelets packs, which makes her body resistant to any attempt to transplant bone marrow, which is considered a radical treatment for her disease. In such cases, patients should be treated in specially isolated rooms under negative air pressure; however, Aisha was not treated in even a normal hospital room, but instead, she was kept in prison!

Aisha al-Shater has been suffering from several illnesses that have led to severe physical pains and deterioration in her health condition; however, this was met with a large degree of indifference from the administration of Al-Qanater Women Prison, Cairo. Only when her health condition further deteriorated seriously, she was transferred on 8 and 9 October 2019, for the first time, to Kasr Al-Aini Hospital for conducting some tests but she was immediately returned to prison; then, she was transferred for the second time on 31 October and remained in Kasr Al-Aini Hospital until 6 November 2019, one day prior to her interrogation session, when she was returned to her detention facility in al-Qanater Women Prison to attend the interrogation session before Judge Hassan Farid on 7 November under unjustified security measures, including putting her hands in iron handcuffs that increases her pains.

Aisha al-Shater, 39, is married to lawyer Mohamed Abu Huraira who is also detained together with a long list of family members including her father, brother and brothers-in-law. Aisha has faced several types of serious violations since she was arrested on November 1, 2018, by the Interior Ministry’s National Security Sector (NSC), both inside the NSC headquarters in Abbasiya and in al-Qanater Women Prison, including:

  • Physical torture by beating and electrocution.
  • Psychological abuse and ill-treatment.
  • Blindfolding her almost on a permanent basis despite suffering from visual impairment.
  • Exposing her to enforced disappearance for up to three weeks.
  • Denying her the right to family visits or contacting them in any way since her transfer to al-Qanater Women Prison.
  • Placing her in solitary confinement for more than one year.
  • Forcing her to wear light clothing in winter in a cold cell without any kind of heating.
  • Denying her right to go to the bathroom for long periods.
  • Unjustified inspection of her cell and stripping her of the simple personal belongings.
  • In addition, she was denied proper treatment for her worsening health condition.
  • Putting her hands in iron handcuffs during her presence in the Kasr Al-Aini Hospital for examination.

Accordingly, we hold the Egyptian authorities fully responsible for the deteriorating health situation of Aisha al-Shater and call for transferring her immediately to a hospital capable of providing proper treatment for her condition until her recovery, in response to the Standard Minimum Rules for the Treatment of Prisoners issued by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), adopted by the First United Nations Congress on the Prevention of Crime and the Treatment of Offenders, held at Geneva in 30 August 1955, and approved by the Economic and Social Council by its resolutions 663 C (XXIV) of 31 July 1957 and 2076 (LXII) of 13 May 1977 – known since 2016 as Nelson Mandela Rules.

We call on the Egyptian Prosecutor General, counsellor Hamada El-Sawy, to open an immediate investigation into the circumstances of this deterioration in Aisha’s health condition together with other male and female detainees in prisons and detention centres that lack the most basic health and safety standards.



Monday, 17 November 2019

Cairo, Egypt