Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Egypt’s most notorious political detainee, on hunger strike

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Alaa Abdel-Fattah, an icon of the Egyptian revolution, sentenced to five years in prison for “spreading false information”, began a hunger strike on Saturday to protest against his detention.

Alaa Abdel-Fattahcentral figure of the “revolution” of 2011 and the most famous political detainee in Egypt, has been on hunger strike since Saturday to denounce his detention, his mother Laila Soueif announced on Monday April 4 to AFP.

“He refuses to eat because his prison situation needs to change, he is placed under reinforced surveillance, solitary confinement, he is not allowed books, physical exercise and this prison is notorious for not abide by any law,” she explained.

In December, Alaa Abdel Fattah, 40, was sentenced to five years in prison for “spreading false information” and his former lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer and blogger Mohamed Ibrahim, alias Oxygen, to four years. Sentenced by a special court, they have no right to appeal.

His sister Mona Seif tweeted that she visited her brother in prison on Monday, where he refused to take the food she had brought him, because “he had been on a hunger strike since the first day of the Ramadan (Saturday)”.

sad record

A central figure in the popular uprising that ousted President Hosni Mubarak during the Arab Spring, Alaa Abdel Fattah holds a sad record: he has been imprisoned under every president of the most populous Arab country for more than a decade.

His last arrest dates back to September 2019 after rare protests against current President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who has gradually muzzled the population since he came to power in 2013.

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The country has 60,000 prisoners of conscience, including, according to Amnesty International, “peaceful activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, academics and journalists detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, assembly peace and association”.

Among them is the former unsuccessful candidate for the only democratic presidential election in Egypt in 2012, Abdel Moneim Aboul Foutouh, a former leader of the Muslim Brotherhood – an organization declared “terrorist” by the government. His family said in a statement that he “suffered a barbaric attack on March 23 by an officer” in his prison in a suburb of Cairo, holding “the regime responsible for his life and his physical and mental health. “.

With AFP

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