Fire breaks out in Muslim Brotherhood leader's cell

Fire breaks out in Muslim Brotherhood leader's cell
Mohammed al-Batlegy's family are holding Egyptian jail officials responsible for a blaze which erupted in the Muslim Brotherhood leader's solitary confinement cell in al-Aqrab prison.
2 min read
25 May, 2016
Mohammed Baltegy was sentenced to prison for attacking police [Getty]
The family of imprisoned Muslim Brotherhood leader Mohamed Baltagy are holding Egyptian authorities responsible for any threat to his life after a fire broke out in his cell.

"Mohammed yelled without any response from al-Aqrab prison authorities, and others in neighbouring cells were also calling out to save him," said Baltegy's wife, Sana Abdul Jawad Barghouti.

Guards eventually arrived, although prison management refused to record the incident, according to the Egyptian Centre for Coordination for Rights and Freedoms.  

Mohammad al-Baltegy was a prominent Muslim Brotherhood politician who had been an MP during the Mubarak era. He was arrested and sentenced to prison after being accused of torturing police during the infamous Rabaa sit-in protest of August 2013, during which more than 800 Brotherhood supporters were massacred by Egyptian security forces.  

His 17-year-old daughter, Asmaa, was one of those killed during the dispersal of the Rabaa sit-in.

Protesters had gathered in support of the ousted Islamist president, Mohamed Morsi.

"We, the family of Dr Mohammed Baltagi, confirm that the coup authorities killed our daughter Asmaa, and has detained her father since 29 August 2013 in solitary confinement and inhumane conditions," said Barghouthi.

"They intend to slowly kill him and so will not hesitate to do anything in the context of the army's revenge against all the symbols of the January [2011] revolution," she said.

"We wouldn't rule out any heinous crime committed against the prisoners and the detainees who are deprived of their most basic human rights, committed by the coup authorities that violated the blood, dignity, wealth and land of the Egyptian people."

The detainee's wife added that tens of prisoners had died under torture and though medical neglect in President Sisi's jails.

"We reiterate our warning and hold the coup authorities and management of al-Aqrab prison fully responsibly for any attack on the life of Mohamed Baltegy, his son Anas and all detainees."

Al-Aqrab prison was built in 1993, when Habib al-Adly was interior minister, and has been described as Egypt's Guantanamo Bay.

In March, dozens of detainees went on hunger strike in the notorious prison to protest dire conditions in the facility which holds up to 1,000 political prisoners at any time.