Activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah's Hunger Strike May Dominate COP27
Amnesty International has warned that if Egyptian authorities do not take the necessary steps, jailed activist Alaa Abd El-hunger Fattah's hunger strike and deteriorating health will likely dominate the COP27 summit.
The author has been on a hunger strike for over 200 days and refused to drink water on Sunday. Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard stated on Sunday that Egypt's "extraordinarily severe human rights situation" is "at the heart" of the COP27 summit agenda.
Activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah's Hunger Strike For 200 Days
COP27: Hunger striker Alaa Abd El-Fattah's sisters pushes for release from Egypt jail
The head of Amnesty International warned that if Egyptian authorities do not release one of the country's leading rights activists from a hunger and water strike in prison within days, the proceedings of COP27 in Egypt could be tainted.
COPYRIGHT_WI: Published on https://washingtonindependent.com/activist-alaa-abd-el-fattahs-hunger-strike/ by Daisy-Mae Schmitt on 2022-11-09T02:38:43.978Z
Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard stated that Egypt had only 72 hours to save the life of imprisoned Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is also a British citizen.
Egypt's hosting of the climate summit, known as COP27, has focused attention on its human rights record as Abdel Fattah al-Sisi maintains a broad crackdown. The conference is being held in Sharm el-Sheikh, an Egyptian Red Sea resort.
Callamard stated that she will attend COP27 to advocate for action on human rights issues related to climate change, such as loss and damage or reparations from richer countries to vulnerable countries affected by climate change.
According to his family, opposition figure Abdel Fattah escalated his hunger strike this week, refusing water as well, to coincide with the first day of the COP27. His aunt, writer Ahdaf Soueif, said he stopped drinking water at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, citing growing health concerns.
Alaa Abdel Fattah comes from a family of well-known Egyptian activists and rose to prominence during the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East, toppling long-time Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
The 40-year-old activist has been imprisoned for the majority of the last decade, and his detention has come to symbolize Egypt's return to autocratic rule. He has been on a partial hunger strike for more than six months, consuming only 100 calories per day.
Reason For Alaa Abd El-Fattah's Hunger Strike
Since April 2, Fattah has been on a partial hunger strike, consuming only 100 calories per day. The 40-year-old activist was a key figure in Egypt's Arab Spring protests, which led to the ouster of then-President Hosni Mubarak in 2011.
He has been arrested several times since then. His most recent detention began in September 2019, when he was imprisoned for allegedly joining a terrorist organization and spreading false information. Later, he was sentenced to five years in prison.
According to Amnesty International, Fattah is being held in "inhumane conditions," being denied both a bed and exercise time in the prison yard.
Human rights organizations have urged world leaders to use the COP27 summit to exert pressure on Egypt's government. Cairo is a key ally of the United States, and it has strong economic ties with European countries.
Activist's Family Receives Letter From UK's Sunak
Abdel Fattah's family announced in April that he had obtained British citizenship through his mother, Laila Soueif, a Cairo University math professor who was born in London. The family has chastised UK leaders for failing to press for a consular visit to him in detention.
His family released a letter they received from UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who will be attending COP27, on Sunday. The global summit, according to the letter, is an opportunity to raise Abdel Fattah's case with the Egyptian leadership.
Sunak will "continue to emphasize to President (al-Sisi) the importance that we attach to a speedy resolution of Alaa's case and an end to his inhumane treatment," according to the statement.
Seif, a rights activist who was imprisoned for a year on false news and insulting a police officer, is likely to focus on the case of her brother and other imprisoned activists.
Seif, a British citizen, had staged a sit-in at the Foreign Ministry's headquarters in weeks as part of a rallying campaign to pressure the UK to intervene in her brother's case.
The latest sweep came after the Muslim Brotherhood, a terrorist organization that has been driven largely into exile, called for anti-government protests on Nov. 11, hoping to capitalize on Egypt's worsening economic woes and global attention on COP27.
Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a British-Egyptian citizen imprisoned in Egypt, increased his hunger strike by refusing water, raising fears for the life of one of the country's leading activists just as world leaders arrived in Egypt for the start of the COP27 climate summit.
The family of one of Egypt's most prominent jailed pro-democracy activists warns that the clock is ticking on his life as they urge world leaders to press Egypt for his release at the United Nations climate conference.