Egypt’s most famous political prisoner, Alaa Abdel Fattah, has been on hunger strike and with just days left to live according to his supporters, invited himself to a discussion among leaders gathered for COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh on Monday, November 7.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi had to answer successively to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and French President Emmanuel Macron about the British-Egyptian prisoner, a symbol of Egypt’s 2011 revolution. Mr. Sunak had warned: Alaa Abdel Fattah “priority” to London. He said after meeting the Egyptian president on Monday evening “Hopefully his case will be resolved soon” He promised to continue “Pressure for Progress”, according to a Downing Street spokesman. Mr. Macron, Mr. He promised Sissy he would “Engagement” Alaa Abdel Fattah’s health “Protected”That’s what I hope “The next few weeks and months will bring results”.
Mr. Sissi’s spokesman was content to report without revealing the content of these talks. The head of Egyptian diplomacy, Sameh Choukry, president of COP27, assured Alaa Abdel Fattah to the CNBC television channel. “Benefits from all necessary care in prison”.
Mr. including his sister Sana Seif in Sharm el-Sheikh. Many of the assertions were rejected by Abdel Fattah’s relatives, where he multiplied meetings and interviews with officials.
“Danger of Death”
Since April 2, Alaa Abdel Fattah, President Sissi’s pet, has been consuming only a glass of tea and a spoonful of honey a day in his prison in Wadi Nadrun, northwest of Cairo. Jailed several times since 2006, he completely stopped eating and drinking last Tuesday when COP27 opened in Sharm el-Sheikh on the other side of the country.
On Monday, three Egyptian journalists announced they would begin a hunger strike to demand his release. “We stop feeding now because Alaa Abdel Fattah is in mortal danger”, illustrated by Mona Selim at a sit-in in Cairo with Eman Of and Racha Assab. They say “The Liberation of All Prisoners of Conscience”It is more than 60,000 in Egypt, according to NGOs.
Activists at COP27 are increasing the number of posts on social networks under the hashtag #FreeAlaa. You are not defeated yet (“You’re Not Defeated Yet”)Alaa Abdel Fattah’s book title. “Not much time to free Alaa Abdel Fattah, seventy-two hours. that [les autorités égyptiennes] No, this death will be in all discussions at COP27”Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard warned on Sunday.
In Beirut, a hundred people protested in front of the British Embassy on Monday.
“He epitomizes the Arab world’s struggle against authoritarian regimes for twelve years.”Journalist and activist Diana Mougallet held up a black-and-white portrait of the activist with the hashtag #FreeAlaa.
“Symbol of the Arbitrariness of Government”
Abdel Fattah, an engineer by training and a pro-democracy blogger, has been part of all the uprisings in Egypt over the years. Condemned at the end of 2021 Five years imprisonment “Spreading Misinformation”.
He was the leader of the Kefaya political movement in the 2000s, then the 2011 revolution that ousted Hosni Mubarak, two years later the demonic march against Islamist Mohamed Morsi and finally the demonstrations against Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
From his prison, he became “Symbol of the Arbitrariness of Government”, says Agnes Callamard. According to Amnesty, since Egypt reactivated its presidential pardon in April, 766 prisoners of conscience have been freed. But 1,540 people entered the prison, including a man on the left, Sherif al-Rubi, who was re-incarcerated after benefiting from the amnesty, the NGO notes. “The President Announces Efforts to End Imprisonment for Thought Crimes, But Actually It’s Backfired”Adds M.me Selim.
Although its constitution guarantees freedom of the press, Egypt has around thirty journalists in prison. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), Cairo is 168e 180 in the Press Freedom Rankings in 2022.
Alaa Abdel Fattah’s first imprisonment was in 2006 under Hosni Mubarak. He returned there between 2011 and 2012 under the de facto leader of the country, Marshal Mohamed Dandawi, under Morsi and then since 2019 under President Sisi. In the midst of a hunger strike, he became a British citizen from his cell. Mother, Laila Suif was born in London.
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