Egypt’s former presidential candidate Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh has just had his fourth heart attack in prison, following a prolonged period in detention without proper medical attention.

Just one week ago Aboul Fotouh’s son said that authorities in Al-Mazraa Prison were refusing to carry out a medical examination on him and that his father was “subject to a slow death” in detention.

His son has continuously warned that his father’s health is deteriorating because he is suffering from angina attacks, advanced prostate disease and kidney and bladder stones.

Leader of the Strong Egypt Party, Aboul Fotouh ran as an independent candidate in the 2012 presidential elections.

He was arrested in 2018 after giving a series of media interviews in which he criticised the government, called for a boycott of the presidential elections and criticised the climate of fear surrounding elections.

Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s only challenger in the elections that year was Moussa Moustafa Moussa, who had previously endorsed the dictator.

Aboul Fotouh was added to the terror list which resulted in a travel ban and the freezing of his assets. He is one of the most prominent opposition figures in Egypt.

Aboul Fotouh was held in pretrial detention until May this year when he was sentenced to 15 years in prison for allegedly spreading false news and incitement against state institutions.

The maximum amount of time a detainee can be held in prison in Egypt on remand is two years.

Aboul Fotouh, who is in his seventies, has been held in solitary confinement without sufficient access to sunlight or fresh air.

He has no access to the prison library, and has been denied books, magazines, TV and radio and his contact with lawyers has been restricted.

His family has said that he is being held in solitary confinement to abuse him mentally and physically.

In January the UN spoke out about the life-threatening deterioration of Aboul Fotouh’s health resulting from the conditions in which he is detained. It warned that his health is likely to deteriorate without adequate and proper health care and that Aboul Fotouh risks severe or fatal consequences because of neglect.