Family of Egyptian-British activist hope to visit him in jail
Relatives of Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah went to his jail outside Cairo on Thursday, hoping to see him for the first time since his protest against conditions in prison drew the attention of world leaders at a climate summit in Egypt.
Relatives of Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah went to his jail outside Cairo on Thursday, hoping to see him for the first time since his protest against conditions in prison drew the attention of world leaders at a climate summit in Egypt. His family said this week he had broken a hunger strike, which he first launched in April and then escalated at the start of the COP27 climate talks in Sharm el-Sheikh.
Leaders including U.S. President Joe Biden raised his case with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during the talks. Family members including his mother, aunt and sister headed to Wadi al-Natrun jail northwest of Cairo for a regular monthly visit on Thursday, the day before his 41st birthday.
"I'm sure we will visit him, there's no issue there," his mother Laila Soueif told Reuters. "It's just a matter of what I will discover when I visit, what state Alaa will be in." An activist and blogger who rose to prominence in the 2011 Arab Spring uprising that toppled Hosni Mubarak, Abd el-Fattah became a symbol for the tens of thousands of Egyptians - from liberals to Islamists - who were swept up in later crackdowns.
In protest against his detention and treatment in prison, Abd el-Fattah began a hunger strike on April 2. He had recently obtained British citizenship, a move his family hoped would help secure his release and draw attention to the plight of other prisoners. In a rare official statement on the case, Egypt's public prosecution said last week his condition was good, shortly after his family reported being told by prison authorities that medical intervention had been carried out to sustain him.
Sisi, who led the military overthrow of Egypt's first democratically elected president in 2013 after huge national protests against the government, says security and stability are paramount and denies there are political prisoners in Egypt.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)