After a Visit Ban, Family of Morsi’s Assistant ‘Essam Al-Haddad’ Discover He Was Transferred to Hospital

Dr. Mona Imam -Essam al-Haddad’s wife- said that she was prevented from visiting her son Gehad al-Haddad and her husband Essam al-Haddad.

Essam al-Haddad was President Mohamed Morsi’s assistant for foreign relations and international cooperation affairs.

Essam al-Haddad’s wife was informed by a police officer that her husband and son were banned from any visit but few minutes after others ended their visits , she was informed that her husband was transferred to hospital with no further details.

She said, “The police officer who informed my daughter in law that the visit was banned for Dr. Essam al-Haddad, knew well that he was transferred to the hospital, but unfortunately it is the law of Egypt’s prisons. “

She continued, “It is not allowed to inform the detainee’s family about anything, including his health conditions or even the hospital where he was transferred.”

“The only way to know is to search in all the hospitals where they used to transfer the emergency cases to, and to wait for hours outside the hospitals to ask the detainees’ relatives seeking an answer,” said al-Haddad’s wife.

“Days have passed and we have not known his whereabouts, Allah is the suffice, and the best Disposer of affairs, and may those ruthless people – who are administrating Egypt’s prisons and its ministries – be punished by Him. I hold the Scorpion Prison administration and the Minister of Interior fully responsible for Dr. Essam al-Haddad’s health.”

Essam al-Haddad is 64 years old and he has been in solitary confinement at Scorpion Prison for the last three years.

The notorious Scorpion Prison which is known as the “Scorpion Cemetery” is a maximum security prison in Cairo that holds many political prisoners and many human rights organizations condemned the non-humanitarian situation in the prison.

The Human Rights Watch has released a recent report titled:”We are in Tombs:Abuses in Egypt’s Scorpion Prison” which highlights how the Egyptian authorities routinely abuse inmates in ways that may have contributed to the death of some of them.

According to the 80-page report, “Staff at Scorpion Prison beat inmates severely, isolate them in cramped “discipline” cells, cut off access to families and lawyers, and interfere with medical treatment.”

In addition, prisoners are treated by the officers of Egypt’s Interior Ministry in a cruel and inhuman way that probably amounts to torture in some cases and violates basic international norms for the treatment of prisoners.

The abuse in Scorpion, where inmates are held in cells without beds or items for basic hygiene, has persisted with almost” no oversight from prosecutors and other watchdogs, behind a wall of secrecy kept in place by the Interior Ministry,”said the report.

Joe Stark, the deputy Middle-East and North Africa director at Human Rights Watch, said: “Scorpion Prison sits at the end of the state’s repressive pipeline, ensuring that political opponents are left with no voice and no hope.” He added,”Its purpose seems to be little more than a place to throw government critics and forget them.”

Stork said,”Egypt’s detention system is overflowing with critics of the government.” He added,”Ending the abuses at Scorpion is a small step toward improving dire conditions across the country.”

Since July 2013 when Abdel Fattah al-Sisi led a military coup  against Mohamed Morsi- the country’s first democratically  elected president and a high-ranking Muslim Brotherhood member, “the Egyptian authorities have engaged in one of the widest arrest campaigns in the country’s modern history, targeting a broad spectrum of political opponents.”