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Egypt: CFJ highlights renewal of labor activist Sameh Zakaria’s detention despite deteriorating health

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Press release

Geneva – April 16, 2024


The Committee for Justice (CFJ) has observed the renewal of detention for Egyptian labor rights defender and paramedic at the Egyptian Ambulance Authority, Sameh Zakaria, despite his deteriorating health condition.

The State Security Emergency Court at Badr Prison renewed Zakaria’s detention on April 6, 2024, for 45 days under case number 2412 of 2022. He faces charges of joining a terrorist group, financing it, and spreading false news due to his activities defending workers’ rights.

During the detention renewal session, which Zakaria did not attend, his lawyers requested his transfer to an external hospital to adjust the ventilation tube in his left ear and install a hearing aid to salvage what remains of his hearing, as he has completely lost hearing in his right ear.

Zakaria has suffered from a rare disease since childhood requiring continuous medical monitoring—otosclerosis, which led to a complete tear in his right eardrum and an infection in his left ear, necessitating the installation of a ventilation tube. The prison doctor months ago warned that the tube had shifted, causing a tear in the left eardrum that now threatens complete hearing loss if not urgently addressed, amidst total disregard from the court.

CFJ holds Egyptian authorities responsible for Zakaria’s health deterioration, demanding necessary medical care to prevent worsening, along with his release and provision of a safe and suitable environment to carry out his legitimate peaceful work defending workers’ rights.

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