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Sadat's nephew becomes unofficial negotiator on behalf of political prisoners

Mohamed Al-Sadat, nephew of former Egyptian president Anwar Al-Sadat, in Cairo, on 19 September 2021 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]
Mohamed Al-Sadat, nephew of former Egyptian president Anwar Al-Sadat, in Cairo, on 19 September 2021 [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP/Getty Images]

The nephew of the late President Anwar Sadat has become an unofficial negotiator for political prisoners in Egypt.

Mohamed Sadat told AFP that he had been successful and was being listened to which had led to the cases of some prisoners being re-examined.

There are an estimated 65,000 political prisoners in Egypt and the numbers look set to go up rather than down despite widespread, international criticism.

Last week the We Record human rights organisation uncovered that Sisi has built the largest prison in the country's modern history, an indication that he intends to arrest many more people.

Some prisoners have been released in recent months, but critics say it is just to appease criticism and does not indicate meaningful change as others have been detained at the same time.

Mohamed Sadat has previously called for the release of hundreds of activists who have been rounded up during anti-government protests.

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In 2017 Mohamed Sadat was kicked out of his seat as MP for the Nile Delta province of Monofiya after he criticised Egypt's human rights record.

He was accused of "belittling" the assembly whilst corresponding with foreign organisations and of forging the signatures of lawmakers on a draft bill.

A House Committee on Constitutional and Legislative Affairs found that he sent statements, including to the Inter-Parliamentary Union, that could "belittle the stature of the House and its image."

However, Sadat denied the allegations against him saying that he simply sent press statements to journalists.

The former lawmaker has also chaired the House of Representatives Committee on Human Rights and later resigned after accusing the government of not taking citizens' complaints of abuse seriously.

He also criticised the parliament speaker and his two deputies after they received three armoured cars worth over $1 million when austerity measures were being rolled out.

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