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Covid-19: At least eight doctors in Egypt arrested for criticising government response

BMJ 2020; 370 doi: (Published 15 July 2020) Cite this as: BMJ 2020;370:m2850

Linked Editorial

Antibody testing for coronavirus disease 2019: not ready for prime time

  1. Owen Dyer
  1. Montreal, Canada

Doctors in Egypt who have complained about a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE) or have otherwise spoken out against the government’s pandemic response have faced interrogation, arrest, or forced transfer to distant hospitals, according to international human rights monitors and the Egyptian Medical Syndicate, the doctors’ union.

At least eight doctors, two hospital pharmacists, and six journalists have been arrested since the virus first hit Egypt in February. An intensive care doctor in Cairo, Ahmed Safwat, was arrested this month after writing on his Facebook page, “The government says that everything is fine and under control, but you enter hospitals and find the opposite.”

Ophthalmologist Hany Bakr was arrested after criticising Egyptian shipments of PPE to Italy and China on Facebook. Junior doctor Alaa Shaaban Hamida was arrested and charged with “joining a …

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