Egypt Watch

British parliamentarians demand their country intervene to release Alaa Abdel-Fattah from prison

British parliamentarians have demanded their country’s foreign affairs minister intervene firmly to save the life of political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and help release him from prison in Egypt and enable him to travel to the United Kingdom, where he holds citizenship in addition to his Egyptian citizenship. The Egyptian Ministry of the Interior had issued a brief statement. It announced that it had transferred Abdel-Fattah from Tora Prison to the Reform and Rehabilitation Center in Wadi al-Natrun, in response to the National Council for Human Rights request.

Laila Soueif, Abdel-Fattah’s mother, had said she fears she will never see her son alive again as he has been on a hunger strike for nearly six weeks in protest of his prison conditions. She added that an officer warned her, during a visit to her son in his prison in Cairo, that he might prevent her from revisiting him after she complained of violations. Several Egyptian mothers had petitioned the National Council for Human Rights to make all possible efforts to transfer political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah from his prison cell to a prison hospital in light of the harmful health conditions after his hunger strike exceeded its fortieth day.

Abdel-Fattah’s sister, Mona, had talked about his poor health and the prison administration’s refusal to register his hunger strike, in addition to the continued prevention of some rights guaranteed to him by law, such as the right to exercise, read books and newspapers and listen to the radio. At the beginning of last April, Abdel-Fattah announced the start of a hunger strike.

A member of the Presidential Pardon Committee, Kamal Abu Aita, had announced that the committee had submitted lists of hundreds of human rights activists, lawyers and journalists to demand their release. The lists included the name of Abdel-Fattah.