The Egyptian Public Prosecution issued a statement on Thursday, 28 July, dismissing the allegations of mistreatment and other violations against prominent political activist Alaa Abdel Fattah. The statement comes after a senior prosecutor was dispatched on Wednesday 27 July to Wadi el-Natrun prison, where Abdel Fattah is imprisoned, to investigate the claims of ill-treatment made by his family.
The statement declared that the claims made by Abdel Fattah’s family, who continue calling for media attention and action about being denied visits and proper medical care, were found to be untrue after the investigation.
His family stated he has been on hunger strike for more than a 100 days, but the statement released on Thursday provided proof that he is alive. His sister Mona Seif, explained on Twitter that the family had not communicated with him since July 16.
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“He has received eight visits by his mother, sisters and other relatives,” said the statement released late on Thursday. “They brought him food during some of these visits. The last visit was by his mother on 16 July.”
The activist was sentenced to five years in prison in December 2021, after an Egyptian court found him guilty of “spreading false news undermining national security, and using social media to commit a publishing offense.” In May, he was transferred from Tora Prison to Wadi el-Natrun prison, located about 100 kilometers north of Cairo.
The statement also explained that Abdel Fattah was in good health and receives regular visits from a doctor, adding that Abdel Fattah’s cell, which he shares with three inmates, was found to be adequately ventilated and well-lit.
Earlier this year, Abdel Fattah gained British citizenship through his mother, academicLaila Soueif, but his family claimed that he has been denied consular visits by the British Embassy in Cairo. However, the statement stated that the prison authorities have yet to see proof of his citizenship.
According to the statement, Abdel Fattah said that he had ‘no complaints’ about his living conditions in prison: “A physical examination showed no bodily injuries, which suggested that he was not subjected to mistreatment.”
Abdel Fattah, who now is serving a five year sentence, has served time in 2013 and 2019 as well. In the past, family visits were often stonewalled, and his mother explained that she was refused visits and information about her son. Abdel Fattah’s family, including his once-imprisoned younger sister Sanaa, have been vocally campaigning for his release, using the hashtag #FreeAlaa, which has been in continuous use for the last 15 years.