Leaked photo shows US-Egyptian citizen on hunger strike bleeding as his health deteriorates

Mohamed Soltan's family say his condition is 'dire'

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Shocking images have been released purporting to show a man on hunger strike in an Egyptian prison bleeding from his mouth.

Mohamed Soltan, a US-Egyptian citizen, has been on hunger strike in an Egyptian prison for over a year. His family say his condition is rapidly deteriorating and have intensified calls to the US government to secure his release.

The photo, which was posted on social media last week, appears to show Mr Soltan bleeding from his mouth, pale and unconscious. It is not known who took the image or how it was leaked.

His family are pleading with him to end his hunger strike, describing his condition as “dire”. They say he recently agreed to begin taking in a “sufficient amount of liquids”, but has refused to break his hunger strike.

A statement on their Free Soltan Facebook page said: “We are petrified with the thought of what condition Mohamed is currently in and we continue to call on all human rights organizations and the US Government to do whatever it takes to secure his immediate release.”

Mr Soltan and his family say they have repeatedly appealed to the US Government for help in securing his release from prison, but to no avail.

A spokesperson for the US State Department told The Independent it remains “deeply concerned” about Mr Soltan’s health and detention, saying: “The United States has requested the release of Mr. Soltan on bail on humanitarian grounds, and we will continue to raise his case at the highest levels of the Egyptian government.    

“We will continue to provide all possible consular services to Mr Soltan, which include pressing Egyptian authorities to ensure he has access to appropriate care and maintaining regular consular access.”

Mr Soltan is a graduate of the Ohio State University and grew up in the US before moving to Egypt in 2013. He is the son of a leader of the banned Muslim Brotherhood, Middle East Eye reports.

The 27-year-old was shot in the arm and arrested during the clearance of a protest camp filled with supporters of ousted president Mohamed Morsi in 2013. Mr Soltan was charged with terror-related offences, which include creating an operations room at Rabaa al-Adawiya Square during the sit-ins.

He launched his hunger strike when a judge extended his period of detention in January. Ambulances have had to transport him to court hearings in the months after as he became increasingly weak and was photographed appearing in court on a stretcher.

Masoud Nafey, a member of the Free Soltan campaign, told The Lantern student newspaper at Ohio in January that Mr Soltan’s health was failing. “He has gone into two separate incidents of hypoglycemic comas, has shown symptoms of liver and kidney failure, has hemorrhages throughout his body and there’s also a psychological component to his torture.”

Mofid Deak, a spokesman for the US Embassy Cairo, told The Independent: “We continue to be concerned about his health.  Our consular officers continue to visit Mr Soltan in prison and attend his trial hearings.”