Egypt Watch

Human rights call on the British Foreign Office to demand releasing Alaa Abdel Fattah

Twenty-nine human rights organizations have issued a statement saying that the activist, blogger and software developer Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who has dual British and Egyptian nationalities and is detained in Egypt to silence him and prevent him from practising his activism, is at risk of death if the British Foreign Office does not intervene immediately to ensure his protection.

They pointed out that his hunger strike, in protest of the miserable conditions he is experiencing in his detention, has entered its 73rd day. Accordingly, his health is rapidly and dangerously deteriorating. The statement added that Abdel-Fattah’s family had reported on May 12 that he had been physically assaulted in prison. On May 18, 10 members of the House of Commons and 17 members of the House of Lords urged Foreign Secretary Elizabeth Truss to act immediately to secure Abdel Fattah’s release.

The statement clarified that Abdel Fattah, who recently obtained British citizenship, has not yet been allowed to receive consular visits and is still calling on the judiciary to consider the complaints he submitted about the conditions of his detention. The organizations called on the British Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure his prompt release and safe transfer to the United Kingdom. They also asserted that his imprisonment was nothing but an attempt to silence dissenting voices and intimidate all the people who consider him an inspiration. They concluded their statement by saying that when the UK authorities granted Abdel Fattah British citizenship in April, they took it upon themselves to uphold his rights on an equal footing with any other British citizen.