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Imprisoned Al Jazeera journalist on hunger strike is close to death

Australian reporter Peter Greste, Cairo bureau chief Mohamed Fahmy and local producer Baher Mohamed are also being held in Egypt. Unlike these three, el-Shamy has not been charged.
By Aileen Graef Follow @AileenGraef Contact the Author   |   May 13, 2014 at 4:59 PM

CAIRO, May 13 (UPI) -- Al Jazeera journalist Abdullah el-Shamy, who is currently jailed in Egypt, is reportedly close to dying due to a hunger strike that has lasted over 100 days.

The 26-year-old has lost a third of his body weight since being imprisoned, his doctor says that his organs are at risk of failure and he could "die within a few days.".

"He has started to have impaired liver and kidney function," said Doctor Mohamed Osama el-Homsi. "It means that his organs are in danger."

El-Homsi said el-Shamy's hunger strike has surpassed all records and he is encouraging him to abandon the fast.

In a letter from prison two weeks ago, the journalist said he had been questioned for two consecutive days by guards trying to get him to give up the strike.

El-Shamy was moved from his cell in Tora prison to an undisclosed location, after his lawyer requested he be transferred to a hospital.

He has been in prison since August 14, after he was arrested for covering a violent police raid at a mosque in Cairo where supporters of deposed President Mohammed Morsi were holding a sit-in.

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