Alaa Abdelfattah, a leading figure in the 2011 Egyptian revolution and well-known political activist has been on hunger strike since 2 April. His life is in danger, yet the Egyptian authorities continue to deny him basic dignity and rights. According to the FreeAlaa campaign website:
“Alaa is a writer, software developer, award-winning human rights blogger, and father to a ten-year-old son. He is an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience and has been targeted repeatedly by the Egyptian regime for speaking up against their crimes.
For two and half years, he has been kept in a cell with no access to books, newspapers or sunlight. He is not allowed a radio. He is not allowed a watch. He is not allowed exercise time outside of his cell. His visits are limited to one family member per month, for twenty minutes, through a glass barrier, without a moment of privacy or physical contact.”
Alaa is a British citizen but has so far been denied a consular visit. Nor have the British government spoken up to demand his release – the Tory government has a shameful record of supporting Egypt’s brutal regime militarily and politically. Boris Johnson called Al-Sisi in March this year, and according to Egyptian pro-government media, said he was “keen on boosting relations with Egypt at the economic and trade levels”. The two men also discussed the war in Ukraine and the COP27 climate summit due to take place in Egypt in November.
Alaa is one of tens of thousands of political prisoners held by the regime in Egypt in terrible conditions. A report by Amnesty International last year highlighted how “prison officials in Egypt are subjecting prisoners of conscience and others held for political reasons to torture, cruel and inhuman conditions of detention and are deliberately denying them health care to punish dissent”. Journalist and activist Hisham Fouad is one those who has been denied health care while in jail as highlighted in our previous campaigns.
What you can do:
- Write to your MP urging support for the campaign to Free Alaa – use the tool on the campaign website here: https://freealaa.net/take-action (sign up for campaign updates as well)
- Share news about the campaign on social media https://freealaa.net/
- Contact the campaign if you would like to organise an event publicising Alaa’s new book – You have not been defeated https://freealaa.net/you-have-not-yet-been-defeated