Ahmad El-Khateeb, a 22-year-old Egyptian student who has been in prison for two and a half years has now been transferred to a hospital. This comes after a petition and a social media campaign calling on Egypt's government to grant him "health amnesty" went viral.
El-Khateeb began his studies at 6 October University in Egypt, later transferring to Turkey where he was granted a scholarship.
He was detained on the 29th of October 2014, upon his return to Egypt, his sister said in an interview with YallaFeed, StepFeed's sister website.
He was accused of belonging to a terrorist organization, and was charged on the March 26, 2015.
He received a ten year jail sentence. His sister and family maintain his innocence, claiming that the accusations are baseless.
His health has drastically deteriorated in the past month, prompting the online petition. People are glad that he's receiving treatment, for now.
"God's will and our social media campaigns led to Ahmad's transfer to a hospital, we hope that he will be granted health amnesty."
"El-Khateeb is finally in hospital."
He's been ill for a while
In her interview with YallaFeed, Fatma El-Khateeb explained how her brother's health ordeal began.
"After a few months in prison we noticed that Ahmad's health was deteriorating and he was rapidly losing weight," she said.
In order to get medical tests done, the family had to bribe a guard and smuggle medical equipment into prison. After months of tests, it was finally revealed that Ahmad is suffering from Visceral Leishmaniasis, also known as black fever.
According to the petition's information page, the disease "destroys the body's immunity and can lead to death."
El-Khateeb's sister pleaded for her brother's life and urged Egypt's government to grant him "health amnesty."
Prior to his transfer, the hashtag #خرجوا_الخطيب_يتعالج (release El-Khateeb for treatment) trended on Twitter with hundreds expressing their support.
"A petition calling for Ahmad El-Khateeb's release for treatment... please help by signing and sharing."
"In his latest message from prison: I am scared, not of illness but of staying here and dying alone."
"El-Khateeb is one of the most incredible people you could ever meet. Ahmad needs treatment and support."
"He's a 22 year old who isn't scared of illness or death, he's only scared of dying alone in prison. Ahmad's wish is to die at home... release him for treatment."
Even though El-Khateeb has been transferred to a hospital, his fate remains unknown, pending more tests and evaluations by doctors.
He also has yet to receive full "health amnesty," which will allow his family to transfer him to hospitals outside Egypt should his case require so.