CIHRS and five human rights groups express concern over Alaa Abdel Fattah

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Six human rights groups have warned of the repercussions of the authorities’ continued intransigence in releasing Egyptian-British political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who started a total hunger strike last week.

In a joint statement, they stressed that the Egyptian authorities’ intransigence during the past three years in responding to Abdel Fattah’s demands embodies the depth of the human rights crisis in Egypt.

According to the rights groups, Abdel-Fattah is being arbitrarily imprisoned after undergoing an unfair trial and being subjected to torture and ill-treatment in prison. The Foundation for Freedom of Thought and Expression and the Cairo Center for Human Rights Studies has said that the case of Abdel Fattah is a living witness to the suffering of thousands of prisoners of conscience in Egypt for peacefully expressing their opinions. They also noted the lack of seriousness of the Egyptian government’s claims that the human rights situation in the country has improved.

On Thursday, more than 321 organizations, 1,079 academics, parliamentarians, and activists from 80 countries signed a petition calling for the release of political prisoners in Egypt, coinciding with the COP27 climate conference. They demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all detainees in Egypt. They also demanded the lifting of the blocking of websites, an end to restrictions on the media, the release of detained journalists, and free working space for civil society.