Egypt: Family of Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah concerned about his life

Family of detained British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah are concerned about his life after prison authorities said he refused visit with his mother last Sunday

The family of activist Alaa Abdel Fattah has grown increasingly worried after they received a message from Egyptian authorities claiming that Abd el-Fattah was refusing to receive a visit from his mother in prison on Sunday.

Consular visits have been banned by the Egyptian authorities and the family are deeply skeptical of the excuse given by the prison authorities, pointing out that he had never refused family visits before.

“We don’t know what’s happening in that black hole that took Alaa away from us, we have to fight for every single basic right for him and us, and every week something new happens that throws us into a loop of worry, anger and unanswered questions,” Seif tweeted on Sunday.

Also, according to a tweet published by the Rassd News Network, Mona Seif, sister of detained activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, said that the prison authorities informed his mother that he refused his mother’s visit. Alaa’s sister said that they (the family) do not know if Alaa is alive or not, so far, adding, “Give us Alaa, and we’ll soon leave the whole country”, addressing the Egyptian authorities.

In her tweet, Mona Seif, Alaa’s sister, said, “We have no information that Alaa is still alive in prison, and that he has never refused his family visits before. I hold Sisi –who tours the world, including Europe, and tells them, ‘Come and see human rights in Egypt.”– responsible for the health and safety of Alaa. My mother is sitting at the gate of Wadi al-Natrun prison, hoping to receive a piece of paper in Alaa’s handwriting stating that he really refused his mother’s visit, and assuring her about his health.

Family criticizes UK Foreign Secretary

Alaa’s family has fiercely criticized UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for her lack of involvement in his case, citing her focus on taking part in the Conservative Party leadership election.

Truss had previously stated her intention to raise Abdel Fattah’s case with the Egyptian authorities. The leading activist, who acquired British citizenship through his mother last year, has been on hunger strike since April in protest against the denial of consular visits.

“I assure the honorable lady that we are working hard to secure Alaa Abdel Fattah’s release,” Truss told the House of Commons in June, ahead of a meeting with her Egyptian counterpart in London.

Since then, however, Truss has been primarily concerned with taking part in the contest to succeed former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in early July following a series of scandals.

Writing on Twitter, Abd el-Fattah’s sister, Mona Seif, accused Truss of focusing on winning the Conservative Party leadership race at the expense of her ministerial duties

“I am exasperated! Honestly it just feels like she is intentionally dismissing our plight and her responsibility towards us!” wrote Seif.

“Where are you Liz Truss, from what’s happening to Alaa!!!”

Abdel Fattah was an icon of the 2011 Egyptian revolution and has spent eight out of the last 10 years in jail on a range of charges.

While incarcerated in December 2021, he was sentenced to five years in prison by an emergency state security court on charges of “broadcasting false news” in a trial widely condemned by human rights defenders.

The evidence used against him was a retweet.