Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has expressed ‘outrage’ in a meeting Sunday with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi over the death of an American national imprisoned in Egypt since 2013.

Mustafa Kassem, a 54-year-old Egyptian-American who suffered from diabetes and heart problems, died January 13 after a hunger strike in which he ceased drinking fluids for four days before his death.

Pompeo, who met with the Egyptian president in Berlin on the sidelines of an international conference on Libya, ‘expressed outrage over the pointless and tragic death of detained US citizen Mustafa Kassem in Egypt,’ State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

Kassem, who had emigrated to the United States and was a naturalized US citizen, was arrested in the summer of 2013 while in Cairo. He was sentenced in 2018 to 15 years in prison for allegedly taking part in anti-government demonstrations, but his lawyers said no evidence was presented against him personally during a mass trial that also included 700 other accused. Kassem maintained his innocence throughout his detention and started a hunger strike last year in protest. 

Pompeo angry over death of US citizen jailed in Egypt


Editorial credit: Madhuram Paliwal /