Egypt gives Ohio State graduate on hunger strike life prison term for financing sit-in
CAIRO — An Egyptian criminal court sentenced a dual U.S.-Egyptian citizen on a monthslong hunger strike to life in prison Saturday on charges of financing an anti-government sit-in and spreading false news.
Mohammed Soltan, the son of a prominent member of the now-outlawed Muslim Brotherhood, was arrested in August 2013, when security forces were looking for his father at his house. They didn't find the father at the time, but arrested him instead, Soltan's family said. His father, Salah, was detained later.
Mohammed, a 27-year-old Ohio State University graduate and former campaigner for President Obama, has been on a hunger strike over his detention for more than 14 months, and his health is rapidly deteriorating, his family said.
The court upheld death sentences for 14 people, including Brotherhood leader Mohammed Badie and Salah Soltan, and sentenced 36 others to life in prison, including three Egyptian journalists.
Soltan's brother Omar said in a phone interview that Mohammed is being held alone in a prison hospital where even the guards are not allowed to speak with him. He only receives outside news during court sessions, when he sees his father in the defendant cage.
Mohammed has been refusing medical checks since security forces moved his father to a higher-security prison two months ago. The father, a diabetic with blood pressure issues, has been denied medication since then, Omar said.