Creating new perspectives since 2009

UK PM pledges to raise case of detained British-Egyptian activist during COP27

November 7, 2022 at 10:29 am

Rishi Sunak leaves the Conservative Party Campaign Headquarters after being announced the winner of Conservative Party leadership contest in London, United Kingdom on October 24, 2022 [Wiktor Szymanowicz/Anadolu Agency]

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has pledged to raise the case of British- Egyptian activist, Alaa Abdelfattah, who has been detained in Egypt for five years, during his participation in the COP27 Climate Summit currently taking place in Egypt.

In an official letter to Abdelfattah’s family, the PM said he has been following Alaa’s case closely and was concerned to hear reports about the deterioration of his health.

In the letter addressed to Alaa’s sister, Sanaa, who has been protesting in front of the Egyptian Foreign Ministry, Sunak said: “I appreciate this must be an extremely painful time for your brother and the whole family; he remains a priority for the British government, both as a human rights defender and as a British national.”

“Ministers and officials continue to press for urgent consular access to Alaa, as well as calling for his release at the highest levels of the Egyptian government,” he added.

Alaa’s sister had previously written to Sunak asking him to obtain proof of life from the Egyptian authorities.

In December, an Egyptian court sentenced Abdelfattah to ten years for allegedly spreading false news.

Sunak told Abdelfattah’s family that his predecessor, Liz Truss, had raised the issue with the Egyptian President, Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.

“I will continue to stress to President Sisi the importance that we attach to the swift resolution of Alaa’s case, and an end to his unacceptable treatment,” he added.

“The UK’s attendance at COP27 is another opportunity to raise your brother’s case with the Egyptian leadership,” Sunak added in his letter.

Activist Abdelfattah has been on hunger strike for over 200 days to protest his unfair detention after being handed a five-year sentence for broadcasting false news.

Last week he announced he will escalate his hunger strike and stop consuming the daily 100 calories he has lived on since April.

READ: Revolution is in the air at Sisi’s climate conference