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Startseite Urgent Actions 2019 10 Prominent activist and his lawyer detained Fears for hunger striker held incommunicado
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Alaa’s family finally received proof of life through two letters these past two days. We shared a social media post on Twitter:

14.11. - Letter from Alaa here

15.11. - Letter from Alaa here

Good news, Alaa is not held incommunicado anymore and he announced that he was ending both his water strike and hunger strike. His family will visit him on Thursday (17 Nov) and we will have more information by then. However we are still concerned about his health situation as his lawyer was prevented from seeing him for the third time yesterday. It's crucial to keep the pressure on the Egyptian authorities and call for his immediate and unconditional release.

Finally, Alaa's birthday is on Friday 18 November which is also the last day of COP. We will work with comms colleagues to create an asset highlighting this to share on social media for a push ahead of his birthday. We will keep you updated on that.

It is vital that we keep raising Alaa's case during the comings days and weeks after COP to remind the Egyptian authorities that even though the spotlight is not on Egypt anymore after COP, we are still watching.

Fears for hunger striker held incommunicado

AI-Index: MDE 12/6195/2022

Egyptian-British prisoner of conscience and prominent activist Alaa Abdel Fattah is held incommunicado, amid the authorities’ refusal to allow his family or lawyer to see or contact him. In his last letter to his family on 31 October, he announced escalating his prolonged hunger strike by stopping any calorie intake on 1 November and water consumption on 6 November. After days in agony waiting for a letter from him at the gates of Wadi al-Natrun prison, on 10 November, a security officer told his mother that he is undergoing a «medical intervention». He provided no further details about his location and wellbeing and instructed her to no longer come. On 10 November, security officials denied Alaa’s lawyer access to see him despite a visit authorization by the public prosecution.


Alaa Abdel Fattah, a well-known political activist and government critic, has been repeatedly arrested in the past decade including for his role in the 2011 uprising. Mohamed Baker is a human rights lawyer and director of Adalah Center for Rights and Freedoms, which he founded in 2014. They have been detained since 29 September 2019 pending investigations into charges of «joining a terrorist group», «funding a terrorist group», «disseminating false news undermining national security» and «us[ing] social media to commit a publishing offence» under Case No.1356/2019 of the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP), a branch of the Public Prosecution specialized in investigating national security threats. The SSSP opened investigations into similar charges against them under new Case No. 1228/2021 as part of a strategy increasingly used by the authorities, referred to as «rotation», to circumvent the two-year limit for pre-trial detention allowed under Egyptian law and indefinitely extend the detention of activists. The trial of Alaa and Mohamed in Case No. 1228/2021 started on 28 October 2021, together with another defendant: blogger and activist Mohamed Ibrahim Radwan «Oxygen», who was also convicted on charges of «spreading false news» in relation to social media posts and sentenced to four years’ imprisonment. Proceedings before emergency courts are inherently unfair as their verdicts are not subject to appeal by a higher tribunal. The defendants were also denied their right to adequate defence as their lawyers were prevented from communicating with them in private and photocopying the casefiles, indictments and verdicts. On 3 January 2022, President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi ratified the verdict against all three. A document seen by Amnesty International indicated that the sentence commenced from the date of ratification, rather than from the date of their arrests.

Alaa and Mohamed were held in inhumane conditions at the Tora Maximum Security 2 Prison, in Cairo until May 2022. Prison authorities held them in small, poorly ventilated cells and have denied them beds and mattresses. Unlike other prisoners, they were prohibited from exercising in the prison yard and were not allowed to use the prison library or receive books or newspapers from outside prison at their own expense. The prison authorities also denied them adequate clothing, radios, watches, access to hot water and any personal belongings, including family photos. On 12 May, Alaa told his mother that he was beaten while handcuffed by the deputy prison warden at Tora Maximum Security 2 prison. On 18 May 2022, he was transferred to Wadi al-Natrun Prison after significant public pressure. On 2 October, Mohamed was transferred to Badr 1 Prison. His wife was allowed to visit him for the first time in two years without bars and he was allowed access to sunlight for the first time in three years. Prison authorities banning them from any phone calls in prison are acting in contravention of Article 38 of Law 38 396/1956 on Prisons and Egypt’s obligations under international human rights law. Amnesty International has consistently documented the Egyptian authorities’ denial of adequate healthcare to prisoners and has raised concerns over the independence of medical staff in Egyptian prisons (who report to the Ministry of Interior). This includes concerns over interferences by prison wardens and security forces in prisoners’ medical assessments and in decisions over their healthcare, including delays or refusals to transfer critically ill prisoners to outside facilities for treatment. As such, there are strong grounds to believe that decisions over Alaa’s healthcare will not be made by independent medical professionals in compliance with medical ethics and free from coercion or interference by the authorities.

Since the President’s reactivation of the Presidential Pardons Committee in April 2022, the Egyptian authorities released high-profile prisoners of conscience and hundreds of others held for political reasons. However, thousands remain arbitrarily detained solely for peacefully exercising their human rights, or following grossly unfair trials, or without legal basis. Since 25 October, dozens have been arrested, questioned by prosecutors and ordered into pre-detention pending investigations in connection to their calls for peaceful protests during the UN Global Climate Change Conference (COP27), taking place in Sharm El-Sheik between 6 and 18 November. Since the beginning of COP27, a chorus of voices have called on the Egyptian authorities to release Alaa. On 8 November, expressing deep regret at his ongoing detention, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Türk, called for his immediate release and urged the authorities to provide him with the necessary healthcare.

Press release from 9.11.2022:
Egypt: World leaders at COP27 must call for release of Egyptian-British activist at risk of death

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