On Thursday, Sanaa Seif, sister of imprisoned political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, said she would attend the COP27 climate summit in Egypt as a civil society observer, participating in Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch events.
Abdel-Fattah has decided to escalate his hunger strike and stop drinking water.
On Tuesday, Seif announced a sit-in in front of the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office to demand the UK government pressure Egypt to release her brother, who has been detained for more than three and a half years.
According to the Guardian, Sanaa and her sister, Mona, have intensified their efforts to secure their brother’s release, coinciding with Egypt’s hosting of COP27. Boris Johnson, former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, had raised the issue of Abdel-Fattah, a British-Egyptian, during a call with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi. When asked about Abdel-Fattah’s case, then-Foreign Secretary Liz Truss emphasized that it was a “top priority” for her government to secure his release.
The Guardian noted that despite this, Sanaa said that these efforts are not enough, stressing that “There are precedents for prisoners with dual nationality being transferred to their other country. It has happened with Americans, Australians and French political prisoners. But the British state needs to push hard for it to work.”
A UK government spokesperson told the Guardian: “The government is working hard to secure Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s release, and we continue to raise his case at the highest levels of the Egyptian government. The foreign secretary recently raised his case when he met Egyptian foreign minister Shoukry at the UN general assembly last month.” Fifteen Nobel Prize winners have recently called for the immediate release of prisoners of conscience in Egypt.