Pressure is building on the Egyptian government to release British-Egyptian activist, Alaa Abdelfattah as he reaches day four of a thirst strike.
At the beginning of this week, Alaa stopped drinking water as the UN's climate summit kicked off in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm El-Sheikh, after a 200-day hunger strike failed to secure his release.
His sister, Mona Seif, told LBC that "unless Rishi Sunak comes back from Cop27 with my brother alive, Alaa won't make it out of Egypt except in a coffin."
Yesterday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights renewed calls on Cairo to release him:
— UN Human Rights (@UNHumanRights) November 8, 2022
Secretary-General of Amnesty International, Agnes Callamard, has said, "Let's be clear, we're running out of time. So if the authorities do not want to end up with a death they should have and could have prevented, they must act now. If they don't, that death will be in every single discussion in this COP."
Mother Courage. Inspiring. Moving. Human Rights Activist. Laila Souief. Her son is jailed activist #Alaa Abdelfatah. He stopped drinking water today after 219 days on hunger strike. @Alsisiofficial has a few days to save a man's life. #FreeAlaa Now pic.twitter.com/4dzI0Q7Ssf
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) November 6, 2022
In a letter to Alaa's sister, Sanaa Seif, on Saturday, the UK's Prime Minister said he was "totally committed to resolving" Alaa's case and that he is a "priority for the British government".
We have received a letter from PM @RishiSunak pledging to call for release of Alaa "at the highest levels" and an end to his "unacceptable treatment."
— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) November 6, 2022
But, at the climate summit itself, Sunak was caught on camera walking away from a reporter who asks him whether or not he is demanding Alaa's release:
We are very concerned to see UK Prime Minister @RishiSunak fleeing from a reporter who repeatedly asks about the status of Alaa Abd el-Fattah and his hunger strike. #SaveAlaa #FreeAlaa #COP27 https://t.co/5eqpN9RKvq
— Naomi Klein "#COP27 Egypt Unsilenced" (@NaomiAKlein) November 7, 2022
Egypt's former deputy Prime Minister, Ziad Bahaa-Eldin, has called on the government to release Alaa:
Egypt's former deputy prime minister Ziad Bahaa El Din calls on the government to Free @alaa. Not because of the foreign pressure, but for Egypt & its people, for our hopes & future. This country has been failing us, & @FreedomForAlaa will give us a smattering of faith back pic.twitter.com/UJbx9lHYd8
— Yasmine El Rashidi (@yasminerashidi) November 5, 2022
Three Egyptian journalists, Eman Auf, Mona Selim and Rasha Azab, announced they would start a hunger strike this week in solidarity with Alaa:
نعلن نحن الصحفيات، ايمان عوف، منى سليم، رشا عزب عن بدء اضرابنا عن الطعام فى مقر نقابتنا، نقابة الصحفيين المصريين تضامنا مع اضراب سجين الرأى علاء عبدالفتاح الذى يصارع الموت الآن وتضامنا مع وكل معتقلين الرأي فى مصرhttps://t.co/nINpnkuWQD pic.twitter.com/aZHq9UdltT
— رشا عزب (@RashaPress) November 7, 2022
Last week, Sanaa and Mona announced that they had spoken to British Foreign Minister, James Cleverly, and that they would be ending their sit-in outside the Foreign Office, where they were further raising awareness of Alaa's case.
"This is our final chapter as a family," Mona said at a press conference. "If Alaa is not freed by Cop27, he is going to die in prison."
Sanaa has arrived at Cop27 to further pressure the government to secure his release.
My brother just had his last glass of water in prison. Please keep his story alive, it's not over. He can be saved.
This afternoon I'm flying to Sharm, I have a civil society pass. The Egyptian regime claims civic space exists in #COP27 , I'll be testing that.#FreeAlaa pic.twitter.com/e2FsfRGmft
— Sanaa (@sana2) November 6, 2022
— Hossam Sarhan (@hossamsarhan87) November 8, 2022
"I'm wondering what our freedom means when you don't have yours," novelist Arundhati Roy has said in a video message for Alaa.
"I'm wondering what our life means when life is leaving yours. And wondering what climate change conferences mean, when the countries that are hosting them are incarcerating and killing people."
— Free Alaa (@FreedomForAlaa) November 7, 2022
Protests are taking place around the world, in London, Beirut, New York, Washington DC, Rome, The Hague, Tunis, Ramallah:
A virgil in solidarity with imprisoned #Egypt-ian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah,on hunger strike for 220 days and on water strike since sunday, is held in #Tunis in front of the journalist syndicate,calling for his immediate release @FreedomForAlaa @sana2 @Monasosh #COP27 pic.twitter.com/Mhpo9cE3AB
— Sofian Philip Naceur (@SofianNaceur) November 8, 2022
🧵: Around the world, wonderful folks are taking to the streets to protest, to march, to light candles, to make demands, and to stand in solidarity with @Alaa, his sisters @sana2 and @Monasosh, and his family.
— Mai El-Sadany (@maitelsadany) November 6, 2022
Other families of political prisoners have spoken out:
— Wafa Ali Mustafa #FreeAlaa (@WafaMustafa9) November 6, 2022
Egypt's Foreign Minister has suggested Alaa's hunger strike has not been verified and that he may be force fed.
#SamehShoukry LYING on TV, claiming @Alaa is getting health care needed, and discrediting his hunger strike. If Alaa dies @MfaEgypt will be one of the first officials I would personally take to Int courts for intentionally hiding
the truth & complicity in murder#Cop27 #FreeAlaa https://t.co/CBkkL9feGo
— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) November 7, 2022
He added that Alaa is receiving medical treatment:
Sameh Shoukry also said Alaa will get the same health treatment as all Egyptian inmates. That is very worrying. Mohamed Morsi died in prison, Shady Habash died in prison. Abdel Moneim Aboul Fotouh's health is deteriorating in prison. #COP27
Egyptian MP, Amr Darwish, tried to disrupt the press conference Sanaa was holding for Alaa and was later removed by UN security.
Egyptian "citizens" attempted to derail and disturb the press conference, giving us all a small sense of the regime of fears and silencing in the country right now. https://t.co/lMTGazv26k
— Agnes Callamard (@AgnesCallamard) November 8, 2022
Alaa Abdelfattah is in prison after sharing a post about the death of a prisoner in detention:
Reminder: This is the post @alaa re-shared and got 5 year sentence for.
A testimony about the death of a prisoner in solitary cell of Max security II prison in Tora
He shared it with the comment "Another murder in solitary cells"
— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) May 20, 2022
His mother, Laila Soueif, continues to wait at the gates of Wadi Al-Natroun prison for proof Alaa is alive:
Good morning (We hope)
Our mother is now getting ready to head to Wadi ElNatrun prison to try and get any letter or anything that proves @Alaa is alive, conscious, & have not been exposed to any added violations than what he has been enduring already for years#FreeAlaa #Cop27
— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) November 9, 2022