The body of Mariam, the first female political prisoner to die in prison due to deliberate medical negligence, is still kept at the Morgue as all her family members are either killed or in prison
Mariam Salem’s body is still held at the morgue of the Qanater prison, because no one of her relatives has received it for burial, as the security forces have disappeared the whole family. While Mariam’s mother and aunt are detained in Al-Qanater prison, her brother has been disappeared by the police.
Mariam Salem died in prison on December 21, 2019 due to deliberate medical negligence after deterioration of her health condition as she was suffering from hepatic fibrosis and an abnormally high rate of bile, which led to a state of abdominal dropsy. Mariam, from North Sinai, was sentenced to 10 years in prison along with her mother and aunt.
The 32-year-old woman was married and had got 4 children, including Abdel Rahman the youngest child that she had given birth to inside the Qanater Prison. Abdel Rahman was taken from her and placed in an orphanage when he was two years old because no one of the family members was there to take him, being all in prison.
Some 900 women have been detained in Egypt since the 2013 coup, 70 of whom are still in prison and are being subjected to serious physical and psychological violations, amounting to torture and even sexual assault, according to human rights organizations.
Female detainees have repeatedly warned that they are being badly treated in detention and a number, including Israa Abdelfattah and Aisha Al-Shater, have launched hunger strikes in protest against the injustice they are suffering.
A number of the prisoners’ families revealed that the detainees were subjected to torture in various forms, using electricity, being raped or threatened with rape, forcing them to undress, and being held in solitary confinement in small cells that lack ventilation and bathrooms.
The Egyptian prosecution continues to use pretrial detention as a punishment for political opponents by renewing the imprisonment of dozens of women without bringing them to trial.
Human rights organizations say the number of political detainees in Egypt has exceeded 60,000 since the army overthrew the late President Mohamed Morsi on July 3, 2013, but the authorities deny these numbers, saying that prisons only include prisoners by judicial orders.
Last January, the Adalah Center issued a report noting that the number of medical negligence cases inside prisons between 2016 and 2018 reached about 819 cases, and the most prominent diseases suffered by the deceased were cancer, kidney failure, and cirrhosis .
International experts said that the prison system may have led directly to the death of the late president after being placed in solitary confinement 23 hours a day and depriving him of health care as he was suffering from diabetes and high blood pressure.
Experts added that thousands of prisoners are at serious risk, while Egyptian officials denied mistreating prisoners or neglecting their health.
It was not a few days after the announcement of the death of political detainee Maryam Salem in an Egyptian prison, until a hashtag denouncing the incident appeared on the list of the highest-circulated social media sites in Egypt.
The “Al-Sisi_Mariam_Mariam” hashtag, second on the trend, was launched after the death of the detainee Mariam in Al-Qanater prison for women as a result of deliberate medical negligence, according to human rights sources.
Through the hashtag, Egyptian activists interacted with angry tweets, and held Egypt’s Abdel Fattah el-Sisi responsible for Mariam’s death, noting that she is not the first woman to be killed by the Egyptian regime, but she is the first woman to die in prison as a result of medical neglect.