FILE - Hassan Ramadan Sharf
CAIRO – 1 August 2018: The Egyptian Foreign Ministry is following up on the investigation into the clinical death of an Egyptian youth who was imprisoned in Italy’s Viterbo, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeid said in a statement on Tuesday.
Abu Zeid said that Viterbo’s hospital notified the Egyptian Embassy in Rome on Monday about the death of Hassan Sharaf, 20, in the hospital where he was moved after he attempted to commit suicide in his solitary confinement cell, according to the hospital and prison claims.
Sharaf was set to be released next September.
The Egyptian Embassy sent a delegation to Viterbo to meet with officials of the prison and hospital to disclose the circumstances of the incident, Abu Zeid said.
Hospital officials revealed that Sharaf was moved to the hospital on July 23 in a state of full unconsciousness after he tried to kill himself in the prison. The prison officials confirmed the hospital’s statements.
The embassy submitted a formal request to the prison administration to conduct a formal investigation into the case, Abu Zeid said, adding that the embassy also asked for Sharaf’s medical records.
According to information provided by his family, Sharaf illegally migrated to Italy when he was 15 after finishing his primary education reportedly to make a good living for himself and his family. He was then able to join school in Italy. However, he was sentenced to 3 years in prison when he was 17 years old.
Sabry Abu Heikal, the victim’s first cousin, said that Sharaf last contacted his family in the holy month of Ramadan, which ended this year on June 14. During the call, he said that he is persecuted by one of his inmates.
Death of Mariam Moustafa
In late February, an 18-year-old Egyptian engineering student, Mariam Moustafa, was tragically attacked and put into coma by 10 British women of African descent.
In a statement issued on March 2, Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson Ahmed Abu Zeid said they are following all of the case’s updates. On March 14, Mariam died.
Abu Zeid said Egyptian authorities demanded the British authorities to take more serious steps in investigating the abusers, especially that they were captured by the CCTV cameras from the streets and bus where the incident took place.
The statement also accused the hospital were Mariam was taken with “negligence”, as they gave her first aid treatment and checked her out when she needed more care; accordingly, she fell into coma shortly after.
Chief Superintendent Rob Griffin of Nottinghamshire Police visited Egypt to update Mariam's family about the investigation’s latest outcome.
Griffin said: “We understand the depth of interest, sadness and concern in Egypt and in the UK over Mariam’s death, and remain committed to see that justice is done,” according to the Nottingham-based West Bridgford Wire.
Griffin added that Nottinghamshire Police and colleagues from the East Midlands Major Crime Unit are professionally investigating the case, adding that they did not rule out the perception that the crime might have been encouraged by hate.