Egypt: UN security eject a pro-Sisi MP for heckling Sanaa Seif’s press conference

The United Nations security personnel have ejected a pro-Sisi parliamentarian after he intentionally interrupted activist Sanaa Seif during a press conference tackling the issue of her brother Alaa Abdel Fattah.

The United Nations security personnel at a Tuesday presser ejected Member of Parliament (MP) Amr Darwish, after he heckled activist Sanaa Seif. However, Darwish responded with shouting, “Don’t touch me. You are here on Egyptian land…”

Rassd News Network tweeted saying: This is the moment when member of parliament Amr Darwish was ejected out of the hall for boycotting Sanaa Seif while she was advocating the issue of her brother, Alaa Abdel Fattah.

Agnes Callamard, Secretary General of Amnesty International, tweeted, saying: 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.

On her part, Mona Seif, sister of Sanaa and Alaa, tweeted, saying: The person who first tried to disturb the press conference launching an attack on Sanaa is Egyptian MP Amr Darwish .. thanks to him press and attendees now have a 1st hand experience with what we face in Sisi’s Egypt.

The pro-government parliamentarian was captured on video grabbing a microphone and assailing Seif and other speakers in Arabic before security intervened.

Ramy Yaacoub, a Twitter user, tweeted, saying: Egyptian MP Amr Darwish being escorted out of the COP27 where he persistently heckled as she advocated for Alaa’s release. Such tactics are regularly used by Egyptian state affiliates to disrupt/silence critics and dissidents.

Sanaa has been vocal at the conference on the plight of her brother, an icon of the 2011 uprising who has spent eight of the past 10 years in jail on various charges.

Following a seven-month hunger strike during which he only consumed 100 calories per day, Abdel-Fattah stopped drinking water on Sunday to coincide with the opening of the United Nations Cop 27 climate summit in the Red Sea resort.

Rishi Sunak writes to family

Rishi Sunak two days ago wrote to the family of jailed British-Egyptian writer Alaa Abdel Fattah, as Alaa’s sister Sanaa urged Sunak to get ‘proof of life’ from Egyptian authorities.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been kept behind bars in Egypt for most of the past decade and was sentenced in December after being accused of spreading fake news.

His sisters, Sanaa and Mona Seif, along with other family members, are protesting the imprisonment of the pro-democracy writer and activist.

They started a sit-in in Whitehall on 18 October and intend to continue it until the COP27 conference.

In an official letter, shared by the prisoner’s family with Sky News, Mr Sunak said he had been “following Alaa’s case closely and was concerned to hear about his deteriorating health”.

He added: “I appreciate this must be an extremely painful time for your brother and the whole family; he remains a priority for the British government, both as a human rights defender and as a British national.

“Ministers and officials continue to press for urgent consular access to Alaa as well as calling for his release at the highest levels of the Egyptian government.”

Mr Sunak told Abdel-Fattah’s family his predecessor Liz Truss had raised the case with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al Sisi.

“I will continue to stress to President Sisi the importance that we attach to the swift resolution of Alaa’s case, and end to his unacceptable treatment,” he wrote.

“The UK’s attendance at COP27 is another opportunity to raise your brother’s case with the Egyptian leadership.

“I would like to thank you again for writing and reassure you that the government is deeply committed to doing everything we can to resolve Alaa’s case as soon as possible.”

‘He could die during COP27’

The letter from Mr Sunak comes as the activist’s family makes increasingly desperate pleas for help.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah has been on a “spiritual hunger strike” for around 200 days, and recently told his family he would “escalate” this to no longer drinking water.

Speaking to Sky’s Sophy Ridge, his sister Sanaa Seif said she feared her brother would die while Mr Sunak is in Egypt for COP27.

She said when she last saw him in August, he “already looked very, very frail” and “his eyes were sunken”.

Ms Seif warned that by the next time she is able to see Mr El-Fattah on 16 November, it could be “too late”.

Her family also wants to know that Alaa is still alive, urging the prime minister to get “proof of life” from the Egyptian authorities.

She alleged that her brother was being treated like a “terrorist” and denied basic rights, and that he had not seen his young son in more than a year.

In a plea to the government, she said the issue was “very urgent” and that she hoped politicians were not just paying “lip service” to her family.