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Egypt: Medics Arrested for Speaking Out Over COVID-19 Failings

Six doctors and two pharmacists arrested, and medics transferred to quarantine hospitals for speaking out

Pregnant doctor detained after her phone used to report coronavirus case

'The Egyptian authorities are handling the COVID-19 crisis with their usual repressive tactics' - Philip Luther

The Egyptian authorities have been using "terrorism" and "spreading false news" charges to arrest healthcare workers who have spoken out over safety concerns during the country's COVID-19 crisis, said Amnesty International.

Amnesty has documented the cases of eight healthcare workers - six doctors and two pharmacists - arbitrarily detained between March and June by Egypt's notorious National Security Agency (NSA) for online and social media posts expressing their concerns (see cases below).

Sources from the Doctors Syndicate also told Amnesty that healthcare workers who speak out have been transferred to isolation hospitals where patients who have contracted COVID-19 are quarantined, or to hospitals in other governorates.

This does not include doctors who died with COVID-19 symptoms but were not tested, and also excludes the death toll among nurses, dentists, pharmacists, technicians, delivery workers, cleaning staff and other essential healthcare workers.

Medics arrested

On 28 March - the National Security Agency arrested Alaa Shaaban Hamida, a 26-year-old doctor, at the El Shatby University Hospital in Alexandria where she works, after a nurse used her phone to report a case of coronavirus to the health ministry's hotline.

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