(WASHINGTON, D.C., 4/21/14) — The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), the nation's largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, today called on Secretary of State John Kerry to help prevent the imminent death of an American detained without trial in Egypt.
Mohamed Soltan, a 26-year-old American citizen who graduated from Ohio State University, has been on a hunger strike in an Egyptian prison since January 26, 2014, and is reportedly so weak that he is unable to walk.
He was detained August 25, 2013, after he was shot at a peaceful protest against the coup in Egypt. Soltan's trial dates have been postponed a number of times.
Due to lack of medical treatment for his wounds by prison authorities, another detainee was forced to perform surgery on Soltan using pliers. His family and supporters are concerned that his medical condition is deteriorating rapidly and may soon be irreversible.
A video produced to help free Mr. Soltan shows him as a media spokesperson for freedom and justice in Egypt.
In his letter to Secretary Kerry, CAIR National Executive Director Nihad Awad wrote in part:
“We respectfully request that you to take whatever measures you can to ensure the health and safety of an American citizen detained in such horrific and unjust conditions in a foreign country.
“At minimum, we would urge you to make a personal public appeal to your Egyptian counterpart for Mr. Soltan's release.”
A copy of the letter is being sent to Marc J. Sievers, ChargÃ© d'Affaires at the American embassy in Cairo.
CAIR is America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.
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CONTACT: CAIR National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper, 202-744-7726, email@example.com; CAIR Communications Manager Amina Rubin, 202-341-4171, firstname.lastname@example.org