Egypt: Jailed Political leader EIssam Al-Aryan dies in detention at Al-Aqrab Prison
Egyptian authorities confirmed on 13 August 2020 that the political leader and member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Dr. Essam Al-Aryan, had died in his prison cell in the infamous Al-Aqrab prison following a heart attack.
Al-Aryan was arrested at dawn on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, following the military coup carried out by the Egyptian army led by Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, which overthrew the elected president, Mohamed Morsi.
The Egyptian prisons witnessed the death of dozens of political prisoners in unclear circumstances, as a result of poor and inhuman detention conditions, or due to medical negligence, lack of health care and ill-treatment.
Essam Al-Aryan's lawyer revealed that the authorities informed him that the death was natural, explaining that he and Al-Aryan's family had not visited him for about six months, after the authorities suspended visits to prisons due to Covid-19 measures.
However, independent experts at the United Nations had previously warned of poor prison conditions that resulted in the death of many detainees, such as former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi, stressing that "conditions in Egyptian prisons directly led to his death," and they warned at the same time that other prisoners may suffer the same fate if Egypt does not address immediately the issue of deteriorating prison conditions.
In a statement from Geneva, the UN Independent Experts added, "Dr. Morsi was in detention in conditions that could be described as brutal, especially during the five years he spent in Tora prison." They indicated that what happened to Morsi may amount to a "killing with the approval of the state."
Dr. Essam Al-Aryan, born in April 1954, is a phyisician and one of the most prominent leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood. He was known for his continuous political struggle for decades and his exposure to arrest throughout his political career. Alkarama has previously raised his case to UN procedures.
Al-Aryan was arrested following the 2013 coup, and was sentenced to life imprisonment in mass trials that were considered as unfair by UN experts and NGOs.