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STOCKHOLM - Skyline International calls for an impartial investigation into the circumstances of Egyptian artist death in prisons amid suspicions of neglect and abuse. It also calls upon an international campaign to save thousands of detainees in arbitrary and life-threatening conditions.

The Stockholm-based international foundation has compiled several testimonies about the death of the young Egyptian artist, Shadi Habash, which indicates he might have died as a result of medical negligence in prison. "Habash" was arrested in March 2018 because he participated in the production of a song critical of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.

According to testimonies, Habash's health had been deteriorating significantly in recent days, and despite the plea of his [fellow] inmates for help, no one of the guards or officers at the scene intervened and provided him with medical assistance, or even consider transferring him to a hospital.  

On October 26, 2019, Habash sent his last message from his cell in Tora's prison in Cairo calling everyone we could for help from certain death. In 2014, Habash was awarded the title of " General Underground Photographer", after winning the highest number of votes in the public campaign organized by the Underground Sarkasem Society" page; one of the most important virtual world pages supporting alternative art. Against him were the charges of the Egyptian Public Prosecution Office accusing him of  "joining a terrorist group and spreading false news.”

"Skyline" condemns the death of "Habash" in prison, which is a flagrant violation of human rights, and intentionally infringing on human life in contravention of several international and regional agreements that safeguard the right to freedom of opinion and expression, including Article 19 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, which states that "Everyone has the right to hold opinions without harassment.”

In this regard, Skyline also highlights that Article 7 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights states that "No one shall be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment. In particular, no medical or scientific experiment may be conducted on anyone without his free consent." 

"Skyline" International confirms that the death of "Habash" requires urgent action from the United Nations and international organizations to save thousands of detainees in Egyptian prisons, including hundreds of journalists, bloggers who have been detained for exercising their rights of opinion and expression.