British Egyptian Alaa Abdel-Fattah on the 44 Day of Hunger Strike

Published May 16th, 2022 - 08:03 GMT
Alaa Abdel-Fattah
Alaa Abdel-Fattah has recieved the British citizenship last month. (Twitter)

For almost two decades, Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been known among Egyptians as the anti-government blogger and activist feared the most by consecutive Egyptian governments. He has been jailed by every political regime that has ruled the country before and after the 2011 Arab Spring revolution. Yet, the latest jail time he has been serving since September 2019 has had the hardest toll on his life.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah, 40-years-old father and son of prominent political activists Ahmed Seif El-Islam and Laila Soueif, was rearrested in September 2019 only a few months after release, following 5 years in jail between 2013- 2019.

Abdel-Fattah's latest arrest came amid anti-Sisi protests called on by exiled construction contractor who had accused Sisi of massive corruption in a series of videos in 2019, even though Abdel-Fattah had expressed his opposition to these protests on social media, deeming it ineffective. 

Since then, Abdel-Fattah has reported several unusual measures against him, including solitary confinement, heavy surveillance, and being prevented from seeing the sun, exercising, having books, or having access to knowing the time for more than two years.

In December 2021, Abdel-Fattah was sentenced to yet another five years in jail, after being accused of "broadcasting false news."

In response, Alaa Abdel-Fattah who has been reported to have suicidal thoughts, according to his mother and two sisters who get to visit him on a monthly basis, has decided to go on a hunger strike since the start of April 2022, demanding an end to the unusual measures he has been subjected to.

In April 2022, Abdel-Fattah's family announced that he and his family members were granted British citizenship, as a result of his mother, prominent activist, and university professor Laila Soueif being born in the UK. Consequently, his family urged the UK government to demand Alaa Abdel-Fattah's release and for him to travel to the UK immediately.

However, Egyptian authorities have not  been responsive ever since.

Following her last visit to Alaa at Tora Prison, his mother, Laila Soueif expressed serious concerns over his health situation as a result of his hunger strike; saying she is afraid he will not be alive by the time of her next monthly visit.

Online people have since been heavily tweeting in support of Alaa Abdel-Fattah and his family, hoping they can pressure both the UK and the Egyptian governments to guarantee his release as soon as possible. 

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