Detained US Citizen Dies In Egypt Prison

A United States, Mustafa Kassem has been reported dead in an Egyptian prison after being detained for more than six years.

Kassem died of heart failure, according to Pretrial Rights International and The Freedom Initiative, the two organizations that represented him during his case. He was 54 years old.

Kassem, who was Egyptian American, was detained in August 2013 in Cairo while visiting his family.

He was beaten by security forces and held in pretrial detention for more than five years before being sentenced without due process in September 2018 to 15 years in prison, according to the organizations.

Shortly after his sentencing, Kassem sent a handwritten letter to Trump to inform him of his plight and implore the US President for his help, CNN reported.

“I pray that you have a plan for me,” Kassem wrote. He told Trump that he was diabetic and was going on a hunger strike “knowing full well that I may not survive it.”

“I no longer recognize myself. I don’t want my children to remember me this way, but I am going on a hunger strike because I am losing my will and I don’t know how else to get your attention,” the father of two wrote.

According to Mohamed Soltan, the leader of The Freedom Initiative, Kassem was on a liquid-only hunger strike on and off before cutting off liquids last week. Shortly afterward, he was transferred to a local hospital, where he died.

“I am putting my life in your hands,” Kassem wrote to Trump in that September 2018 message.

It is unclear if the Trump ever saw the letter, which was passed to him by Rep. Peter King, the New York Republican who represented Kassem’s brother and sister-in-law. CNN reported that the White House declined to comment on the record about Kassem’s death.

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