Egyptian hunger striker Abdel Fattah ‘under medical intervention’: his family

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Cairo (AFP) – The family of jailed Egyptian dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah, who refused food and water, said on Thursday prison authorities told them he was “under medical intervention”.

The family have repeatedly requested information about the British-Egyptian activist’s health in recent days amid what they described as “rumours of force-feeding”.

His mother Laila Soueif, in Wadi al-Natrun prison north of Cairo, was informed that “medical intervention has been taken” with Abdel Fattah “with the knowledge of judicial entities”, wrote his sister Mona Seif on Twitter.

International concern has grown since Abdel Fattah, 40, escalated his months-long hunger strike by also cutting liquids since the start of the UN climate summit COP27 on Sunday. ‘Egypt.

Abdel Fattah, a veteran pro-democracy and rights campaigner, is serving a five-year prison sentence for “spreading false news” by sharing a Facebook post about police brutality.

A key figure in the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak, Abdel Fattah was granted British citizenship this year.

“Surely our mum should see him, or someone from @UKinEgypt (British Embassy in Cairo) so that we understand his true state of health!!” Seif added on Twitter.

The dissident’s aunt, novelist Ahdaf Soueif, said earlier this week that the family was concerned about “rumours of force-feeding and sleeping pills”.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, French President Emmanuel Macron and German Chancellor Olaf Scholz have all expressed concern and called for his release.

UN rights chief Volker Turk has warned that “Abdel Fattah’s life is in grave danger”.

COP27 activists tweeted widely on Twitter under the hashtag #FreeAlaa, and several speakers ended with the words “you haven’t been defeated yet” – the title of the imprisoned activist’s book.

Human rights groups estimate that around 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egypt, many in brutal conditions and overcrowded cells, charges Cairo denies.