A prisoner named Abdel Fattah Khedr died Friday afternoon in the Tora Prison Complex as a result of lack of medical care, according to his family.
Khedr’s son Ibrahim told Daily News Egypt that the family has been trying to send medication into the prison for months but has not been allowed. Ibrahim accused the prison authorities of not allowing his father to be treated for his “severe pains in the back and neck”.
Khedr, 66, was charged with joining an illegal group and protesting.
Khedr was known in his village for his religious preaching and for managing charity organisations and activities in mosques, a trend that Islamists are famous for in villages where government control and services are minimal.
His supporters have said that he was one of the few preachers in the governorate of Qaliubiya who did not follow the Salafist trend, and supported the ouster of former autocrat Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
Owing to his popularity, thousands of mourners in his hometown attended his funeral. Also several Islamist and charity groups inside and outside Egypt mourned the deceased.
After the ouster of Mohamed Morsi in 2013, Egyptian security forces attempted to arrest Khedr due to his antigovernment stance.
He was arrested on 8 February 2014 in what his supporters call a “raid”.
Under the reign of Mubarak, Khedr, like thousands of Islamists, had been detained and spent months in the now dissolved State Security Apparatus.
Deaths in Egyptian prisons have been on the rise with a number credited to lack of medical care, especially in the cases of older men, and due to overcrowding in prisons.
On Wednesday Mohamed Al-Shohna, 55, died in Mansoura General Hospital after being transferred from Mansoura General Prison where he was serving a two-year sentence.
Thousands of civilians have been imprisoned or held in pre-trial detention since 2013. The Egyptian state has decided to build more prisons in different cities to deal with overcrowding.