An American trapped in Egypt dies for more than 6 years, begging Trump for help



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An American trapped in Egypt dies for more than 6 years, begging Trump for help



An American citizen who once asked for President Donald Trump's help has died after spending more than six years in an Egyptian prison.

Mustafa Kassem, 64, died Monday of heart failure, Pretrial Rights International and The Freedom Initiative said, CNN reports.



Mustafa Kassem was a 54-year-old New York City cab driver & US citizen who was visiting his wife & two children in Egypt. When he went out to exchange money on August 14, 2013, he was stopped by officials & accused of participating in the nearby Raba'a square sit-in. pic.twitter.com/KUPmNxn6sE

– Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) January 13, 2020

They brought him in when he visited family

Kassem, an Egyptian American, was arrested in Cairo in August 2013 during a visit to his family. He was beaten and detained by the security forces for more than five years and then sentenced to 15 years in prison without due process in September 2018.

Kassem was arrested a month after the military seized power from Mohammed Morsi's elected government. On the day of his arrest, Egyptian authorities stormed the Muslim Brotherhood headquarters and killed and arrested many supporters of the Sunni Islamic organization, including Kassema, according to The Press Democrat.

Shortly after the sentencing, Kassem sent a letter to Donald Trump, informed him of his situation, and asked for help.

“Please help me,” Kassem wrote. He told Trump he was diabetic and hunger strikes “knowing he might not survive.”

“I don't recognize myself anymore. I don't want my kids to remember me like this, but I'm on hunger strike because I'm losing my will and I don't know how else to get your attention,” Kassem wrote.

“I'm putting my life in your hands”

According to Mohamed Soltan, head of The Freedom Initiative, Kassem has been on a hunger strike often lately, with neither eating nor drinking in the last week. He was then transferred to a local hospital where he died.

“I'm putting my life in your hands,” Kassem wrote to Trump in a 2018 letter.

It is unknown whether the president saw the letter forwarded to him by Peter King, a New York Republican. The White House declined to comment on Kassemi's death.

An American trapped in Egypt dies for more than 6 years, begging Trump for help

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