Mahjoub ends hunger strike

Posted by admin on Sep 25th, 2005

Globe and Mail. Mahjoub ends hunger strike. Saturday, September 24, 2005

Toronto — An Egyptian refugee has ended his 79-day hunger strike in a Toronto jail after the provincial government agreed to meet his demands for medical treatment. Mohammad Mahjoub was using the prolonged strike to protest conditions at the Metro West Detention Centre. Mr. Mahjoub, 44, said he has been denied proper medical attention and visits from his family.

The provincial government issued a written statement late Friday promising medical specialists would be sent to assess Mr. Mahjoub’s health problems, including a knee injury and Hepatitis C, which he contracted in jail.

“I’m glad to hear that Mohammad will finally be able to eat again because of this agreement, but it concerns me deeply that it took the provincial government 80 days to come to it,” said Matthew Behrens, spokesman for the Campaign to Stop Secret Trials in Canada.

“This is someone who has gone without eating for almost three months for simple, basic medical rights, and that it would take the province that long, that’s a serious issue.”

Mr. Mahjoub, who was granted refugee status in 1996, is one of five men being held as a suspected terrorist under federal security certificates without being charged.

Mr. Behrens said Mr. Mahjoub has been subsisting on orange juice and water
during his protest.

“He looks about half his size,” Mr. Behrens said. “His face appears to have caved in, almost. He truly did look like he was just skin and bones and it was very painful to see.”

Earlier in the week, Mr. Mahjoub received a pair of glasses, which he had been trying to get for eight months, the campaign said in a release.

Mr. Mahjoub intends to go to court to secure monthly family visits to see his wife, Mona Elfouli, and their two sons, Yusef, 6, and Ibrahim, 8.

“Now we need to put the same energy into ending detentions under secret  evidence and returning my husband and the other men in jail to their families,” Ms. Elfouli said in a release.

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