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Detained US citizen Mustafa Kassem dies in #Egypt amid hunger strike.

Kassem died of heart failure following a hunger strike which the 54-year-old is believed to have started in September 2018. abcn.ws/2teMSQi via @ABC
On Aug. 14, 2013, the night before Kassem - a NYC can driver - was set to return to the U.S., he went out in #Cairo to exchange money and shop, when security officials detained him and accused him of participating in protests against a military takeover in a nearby square.
Kassem started his hunger strike after being convicted of trying to overthrow the government of #Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and sentenced to 15 years in jail in a mass trial with more than 700 co-defendants.
"Dear President Trump: As an American beginning the hunger strike that could leave my two young children without a father and make my wife a widow, I pray that you secure my freedom,” Kassem wrote in letters sent to Trump and Vice President Pence.
In February 2019, Kassem’s sister said he was dying because of his hunger strike. “Last Thursday,he ceased taking liquids and was shortly thereafter transferred to a local hospital, where he passed away today in the late afternoon (local time),” Pretrial Rights International said
“A diabetic with a heart condition, prison officials limited access to necessary medications and medical care for the entirety of his (Kassem’s) detention. He remained in pretrial detention for over five years,” Pretrial Rights International’s statement read.

#Egypt is notorious for its treatment of political prisoners, with human rights groups often calling on the country to provide medical care to detainees and investigate their claims of torture.
Kassem’s brother-in-law Mustafa Ahmed, wrote this oped about him in Oct. 2018.

There are tens of thousands of political prisoners in #Egyptian prisons, in horrendous conditions. Mustafa Kassem’s death is a terrible reminder. My condolences to his family and loved ones.
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