wrong place, wrong time

Maybe you’ve never hear of Mustafa Kassem. He was a 54 year old auto parts dealer from Long Island, New York. Mr. Kassem was a United States citizen who died recently in an Egyptian prison.

Kassem was sentenced to 15 years in prison in Egypt after being arrested in what his lawyers described as a vast dragnet while Egypt was dealing with Islamist protesters. Kassem maintained his innocence throughout his detention and started a hunger strike last year in protest.

Kassem is an Egyptian-American who was visiting family. In 2017, President Trump negotiated the release of Egyptian American charity worker Aya Hijazi and her husband from an Egyptian prison where they had spent nearly three years. Whether Trump got the handwritten note from Kassem for help, we don’t know.

Medical negligence in Egyptian prisons should not be surprising, because it is more common than not in most prisons systems in the world. The very idea that prisoners are worthy of compassion comes from Jesus. The quality of a nation’s prison system might be something to take into consideration when making travel plans.  More so if you are traveling to a place with an authoritarian style government.

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