The sister of British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah said on Monday that the family had received a letter from the prison that served as “proof of life” for the hunger striker.
Abd el-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike over his detention and prison conditions for more than 220 days, said he was stepping up his protest by stopping drinking water on November 6, the opening day of the COP27 climate summit. in Egypt. .
Since then, his family and his lawyer have made repeated trips to the prison where he is being held northwest of Cairo, but have received no news about his condition.
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“Alaa is alive, he says he is drinking water again as of November 12,” Sanaa Seif said on Twitter. It’s definitely her handwriting. Proof of life, finally.
The family shared a copy of the note, which said that he was receiving medical attention and that his vital signs were good. He also asked them to bring vitamins.
Abd el-Fattah’s strike has overshadowed United Nations climate talks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, where several leaders have raised the case with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, including US President Joe Biden.
US National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan said after the meeting on Friday that Washington was doing everything possible to secure the release of Abd el-Fattah “as well as the release of other political prisoners” in Egypt.
Since Abd el-Fattah obtained British citizenship in December, British officials have tried unsuccessfully to secure consular access. British Foreign Secretary James Cleverly said on Monday the government would keep trying.
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Abd el-Fattah’s lawyer, Khaled Ali, said he visited the prison but was unable to get approval from prison officials to see Abd el-Fattah for the second day in a row despite permission from the prosecutor’s office.
“Why was your lawyer denied access, even with permission? Why was this letter hidden from us for two days?” her sister Sanaa said in a statement.
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“Alaa is still on hunger strike, the UK embassy has yet to gain consular access (and) he is still arbitrarily detained with no end in sight.”
Since 2013, when then-army chief Sisi ousted Muslim Brotherhood President Mohamed Mursi, there has been a far-reaching crackdown on political dissent that has swept away liberals and leftists as well as Islamists. Human rights groups say tens of thousands have been jailed.
Sisi, who became president in 2014, says security and stability are paramount and denies there are any political prisoners in Egypt.