Egypt’s social media mourned Mohanad known as ‘January Revolution Bee’ a few days after his 20th birthday.
Hours after his death, the hashtag “#Mohanad_died” rated #1 on the popular trend in Egypt.
Why have many activists interacted with the Mohanad, and what is his story?
Mohanad -15 years old- participated in January Revolution, that broke out at the hands of Mohand’s generation, in Alexandria governorate. He was as active as a bee, so his colleagues called him “Bee” for his energetic participation throughput the 18 days of the revolution that fascinated the whole world, according to a report on The Huffington Post
After the military coup in 2013, he participated in the demonstrations and sit-ins against the ousting of Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi after January Revolution.
On 17 December 2013, Mohanad met what he had never expected to happen after January Revolution. While he was photographing one of the demonstrations with his camera, he was detained by the security forces.
He was only 17 years old and he was detained in juvenile custody when he was sentenced to 5 years in prison. However, it was commuted later to 3 months at the Court of Appeals. When he was released, Mohanad continued to document all the incidents that his nation was passing by through his camera.
Then, the second time he was arrested came on January 21, 2015 when he faced the same charges “photographing a demonstration” which became a crime after the military coup, and he was detained in Borg AL-Arab prison. But after only two month, something occurred that was worse than his detainment, and caused a shift in his life.
Commenting on these moments, he wrote on his Facebook account:”I started to feel ill with continuous vomiting and inability to eat. Then, I started to bleed from my nose. I cannot talk, hold anything, or enter the bathroom.”
“When I went to the prison hospital after the prison administration had refused for 3 months , they told me that I had anemia without conducting any medical check-up. Then, they said that I suffered from Typhoid. Then they told me that I was infected with a virus in the liver (hepatitis). After that, they transferred me to a fever hospital, where they were not able to diagnose my illness,” he said.
“Afterwards, they allowed my father to take a blood sample from my body to make a blood test at a medical laboratory outside the hospital to discover that the leukemia (blood cancer) has spread in my body by 93%.”
After two months without treatment, the prison administration transferred Mohanad to a public hospital that was crowded with poor patients who could not afford the expenses of the private hospitals. He stayed in the Geriatrics Ward because the Blood Diseases Ward was crowded with patients.
Although he started to undergo a course of chemotherapy in this public hospital, as a prisoner under surveillance, but his father did not dare to tell his only son the truth about his illness.
Mohanad talked on the moment when he knew about his illness in a post on Facebook, saying,”I had not known by this time the truth about my illness despite all what happened with the prison administration. The first time I knew I knew about it was when I went to a court session for the renewal of remand. With my weak body and the loss of my hair, I heard my lawyer telling the judge about my illness and that I was suffering from cancer.”
He continued,”Afterwards, a new ruling was issued to release me pending the case and I traveled to the United States of America to start my medical treatment .”
After months of the medical therapy, It was clear that there is no effective treatment and he accepted to volunteer to different new medicines hoping that they might cure him. On July 2016, he wrote,”I am very ill and there is no cure until now, every time the medical tests are the same and there is no improvement, the situation is deteriorating day after day. The pain is unbearable and things are getting worse.”
Despite his weakness, Mohanad has submitted his papers to enter the faculty of commerce at Alexandria university 2015/2016.When he couldn’t resume his study because of his illness, he decided to rebel on his illness and he joined the demonstrations in front of the United Nations headquarters that condemn the human rights conditions in Egypt.
He also conducted many TV interviews to talk about his personal experience despite its harshness that he perceived it was much better than 60,000 delineates in Egypt’s prisons, according to his words.
Mohanad died on Monday October 3 after struggling first for his country’s freedom, in Egypt’s prison by the medical negligence to his case and then to fight cancer. Mohanad is one of thousands Egyptian youth who have been lying in Egypt’s prisons after the military coup had crushed their dreams of freedom.
Many died in Egypt’s prisons as result of torture and medical negligence, according to rights groups.