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Jailed Anglo-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah ends hunger strike after 6 months

Jailed British-Egyptian activist?Alaa Abd el-Fattah ends hunger strike after 6 months

Alaa Abd el-Fattah, the British-Egyptian democracy activist imprisoned in Egypt, has ended his six-month hunger strike, which he started to protest his conditions of detention.

Abd el-Fattah, one of the spearheads of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, has spent most of the past decade behind bars. He went on a partial hunger strike in April to protest his prison conditions, spending more than six months consuming just 100 calories a day. According to his family, his health has rapidly deteriorated since then.

Jailed Anglo-Egyptian activist ?Alaa Abd el-Fattah ends hunger strike after 6 months

“I broke my strike. I will explain everything on Thursday,” he told his family in a letter, referring to his monthly visits to the Wadi el-Natrun family prison where he is being held.

The political activist was sentenced to an additional five years in prison last year for sharing an article about torture on social media, shortly after obtaining British citizenship through his mother.

He went on a hunger strike the week before COP7, the UN climate change conference held in Egypt last week, then stopped drinking water the day the conference started in Sharm el-Sheikh. He repeatedly told his family that he expected to die in prison.

Jailed Anglo-Egyptian activist ?Alaa Abd el-Fattah ends hunger strike after 6 months
The news that Abd el-Fattah had broken his strike came after Egyptian prosecutors said the activist received “medical intervention” last week, without further details.

In a letter to his family he wrote last Saturday, Abd el-Fattah provided the first proof of life his family had received in two weeks, telling them he had started drinking water again.

“As of today I am drinking water again so you can stop worrying until you see me yourself. Vital signs are OK today. I am measuring regularly and I am getting medical care,” he told them.

Abd el-Fattah is due to celebrate his 41st birthday on Friday. “The important thing is I want to celebrate my birthday with you on Thursday, I haven’t celebrated in a long time, and I want to celebrate with my cell mates so bring a cake, normal groceries,” he said. – he told his family in his last letter. .

Prisoners in Egypt’s prison system, which houses at least 65,000 political prisoners, normally demand that their families provide them with food and other basic items to support themselves.

“I feel cautiously relieved now to know that at least he’s not on a hunger strike, but my heart won’t really be calmed until Thursday, when my mom and sister see it with their own eyes,” said Mona Seif, Abd el-Fattah’s sister.

His lawyer, Khaled Ali, made three unsuccessful attempts to visit his client in prison, despite obtaining permission to do so from the Egyptian public prosecutor. Ali’s visit was intended to provide updates on Abd el-Fattah’s well-being and status, including what motivated him to start drinking water and starting to eat, and if he had been subjected to treatment without his consent.

“At this point, the family has no further information about what happened inside the prison or what informs Alaa’s decision,” Abd el-Fattah’s family said in a statement. a statement.

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