Hunger-striking British Egyptian dissident’s family gets proof of life

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CAIRO — The household of British Egyptian political prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah — who began a water strike on Nov. 6 — acquired proof of life through handwritten letter dated Nov. 12, his sister introduced Monday. The letter additionally acknowledged he started to drink water once more six days after declaring his strike.

His case has dominated the discourse on the U.N. Local weather Convention often known as COP27 — a gathering Egypt hoped would assist deliver the nation constructive consideration. As an alternative, there was huge deal with Egypt’s report of repressing civil society. Visiting world leaders have repeatedly referred to as for Abdel Fattah’s launch as his household raised alarm that he might die behind bars through the convention.

A distinguished voice from the nation’s 2011 revolution, Abdel Fattah is serving a five-year sentence after he was discovered responsible of “spreading false information undermining nationwide safety” final yr. He has been out and in of jail for round a decade on varied costs that rights teams say are solely an try to silence his dissent.

Egypt conducts ‘medical intervention’ on hunger-striking dissident, family says

Earlier than Saturday’s letter — which they acquired Monday — his household had final heard from him on Nov. 6 when he introduced the strike.

“I’m so relieved,” his sister Sanaa Seif wrote on Twitter. “Alaa is alive, he says he’s consuming water once more as of November twelfth.”

“He says he’ll say extra as quickly as he can. It’s undoubtedly his handwriting. Proof of life, eventually,” she added.

Seif has mentioned in latest days that she was not sure if her brother was nonetheless alive. Forward of President Biden’s temporary go to to COP27 on Friday, the siblings’ cousin, novelist and filmmaker Omar Robert Hamilton, referred to as on Biden to safe Abdel Fattah’s launch and to not go away the nation with out proof of life.

Chatting with reporters on Air Pressure One after the stopover, Biden’s nationwide safety adviser Jake Sullivan said he did not have an update on Abdel Fattah’s situation however that the US was “doing every thing we are able to to safe his launch.”

White House ‘doing everything we can’ to get British Egyptian released

Egypt’s Public Prosecution workplace claimed final week that Abdel Fattah had a household go to on Nov. 7, which the household firmly denies. His mom waited outdoors the jail every day because the household begged for proof of life. His household is now asking why jail authorities didn’t present the letter to them sooner.

Abdel Fattah’s lawyer, Khaled Ali, tried a number of instances within the final week to go to him within the Wadi el-Natrun jail outdoors the capital Cairo after receiving permission from the general public prosecutor’s workplace. Every time, his household has mentioned, he has been denied entry.

“In fact I anticipated this,” his sister Mona Seif wrote on Twitter on Monday after he was denied once more. “They don’t need anybody else to see him.”

Abdel Fattah claimed British citizenship by way of his mom, a London-born math professor at Cairo College, final yr however Egypt has by no means allowed British Embassy officers to go to him in jail — one thing British International Secretary James Cleverly mentioned Monday he was engaged on.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak was among the many leaders who instantly raised Abdel Fattah’s case with Egyptian President Abdel Fatah El-Sisi throughout his go to to COP27.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz has additionally been vocal in regards to the case. Germany’s delegation to COP27 additionally hosted a number of human rights-related occasions on the convention. Now officers are elevating considerations that Egypt has been monitoring their actions, prompting them to request a halt to all such surveillance.

“We anticipate all contributors within the U.N. local weather convention to have the ability to work and negotiate below protected situations,” Germany’s International Ministry wrote in a statement to the Germany Press Company on Sunday. “This isn’t simply true for the German however for all delegations, in addition to representatives of civil society and the media.”

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