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Fears Alaa Abdelfattah suicidal as he asks family to receive condolences

Alaa Abdelfattah [Twitter]
Alaa Abdelfattah [Twitter]

The family of Alaa Abdelfattah has issued a statement to say that his life is in danger after two years of detention suggesting that the activist is suicidal.

According to the statement, Alaa sent a message to his mother Laila Soueif through his lawyer, asking her to receive condolences for him.

"Alaa is in imminent danger," reads the statement. "His mental health is failing after two years of careful planning and cruel implementation by the Ministry of the Interior and National Security, and he sends a message to his mother to start receiving condolences for his death!"

"His life is in danger, in a prison that operates completely outside of the space of the law and in complete disregard of all officials, foremost the Public Prosecutor, the Minister of Interior, the Minister of Justice, and of course the President."

Alaa has been detained in the maximum-security jail Tora 2 for almost two years now, the maximum amount of time someone can be held on pretrial detention for in Egypt.

He was detained in September 2019 as part of a mass arrest of journalists, activists, former politicians, and political detainees around the time of whistleblower Mohammed Ali's calls to protest.

READ: Egypt rights activist Hossam Bahgat's trial postponed

Alaa had only been out of prison for six months after serving a five-year prison sentence for protesting without authorisation.

Shortly after his arrest, Alaa was stripped, blindfolded, beaten, and verbally abused. He was kept in a cell with poor ventilation and prevented from buying food and water in the prison canteen.

According to his sister Mona Seif, who published the statement on Facebook, their mother Laila went to Tora Prison on Sunday to deliver supplies and letters to Alaa but was told by the prison officer that there was no letter from him.

The following day Alaa was due to appear in court for a review of his custody but he was not allowed to attend the session.

He told his lawyers that there have been continuous violations against him and that he has been targeted by the National Security officer in charge. Though he has made numerous reports and complaints, no one has responded.

The statement said that violations against prisoners have increased in recent months and against Alaa in particular after he complained about some of the prison staff.

In March, an Egyptian court sentenced Sanaa Seif, Alaa's sister, to one and a half years in prison.

Sanaa was arrested in June 2020 after she tried to file a complaint with the attorney general after she, Mona and Laila were beaten outside Tora Prison whilst trying to deliver a letter to Alaa.

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