Egyptian authorities are refusing to allow Alaa Abdelfattah’s lawyer to visit him even though he was issued with a visitation permit from the public prosecutor.
Alaa’s family says it is still waiting for proof of life and an update on his health as the prominent pro-democracy activist hits over 200 days of hunger strike including a week without water.
The denial of a visit by his lawyer comes as authorities continue to refuse a visit by British diplomats after refusing to recognise Alaa’s British citizenship.
Alaa’s family fear he is being force fed inside prison. At COP27 his sister Sanaa Seif said she imagines he has been put on an intravenous drip, “against his will.”
This is the second time his lawyer Khaled Ali has been refused a visit, despite having a permit and Alaa has not written to his family since 31 October.
Egypt’s public prosecutor has said that Alaa is in good health and is not in need of hospital treatment after a medical intervention undertaken with the authorisation of the judiciary.
Alaa was arrested in 2019 after Egyptian whistleblower Mohamed Ali called on citizens to protest Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi’s rule.
He was later sentenced to five years in prison for “broadcasting false news,” and so was his lawyer, Mohamed El-Baqer, who was arrested whilst offering support to Alaa.
Mohamed has been added to Egypt’s so-called terror list and when he is released will likely be banned from travelling and possibly disbarred.
Alaa has come to represent the struggle of some 60,000 political prisoners who are held in dire conditions inside Egyptian jails.
British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said he raised Alaa’s case with President Al-Sisi last Monday during the UN climate summit in Sharm El-Sheikh.
Alaa’s sister Mona Seif has said she is disappointed that the PM returned to the UK without proof of life.