Egyptian Member of Parliament, Amr Darwish, was escorted out by the security of a press conference about British-Egyptian jailed activist, Alaa Abdelfattah after a verbal altercation with Sanaa Seif, Abdelfattah’s sister.
The event was held on Tuesday, 8 November, at the sidelines of the 2022 United Nations Climate Conference (COP27).
After Seif’s speech, when the floor was open for questions, Darwish called Abdelfattah “a criminal prisoner and not a political prisoner”; he asserted that the activist, who has been incarcerated multiple times since 2006, was undeserving of a presidential pardon. Darwish also criticized Sanaa of “inciting foreign countries to put pressure on Egypt”.
When Seif responded, she accused Darwish and an Egyptian lawmaker, who was echoing the MP at the hall, of being sent by Egyptian authorities. After which, Darwish interrupted her response.
In response, a speaker on the panel discussion asked security to “stop the disruption. This is deliberate disruption,” he said.
UN security subsequently intervened and removed Darwish from the conference hall.
“I was surprised by the strange treatment I received from the UN and the organizers of the conference, a manner contradictory to Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, related to freedom of speech,” Darwish said in a video posted on his official Facebook page.
Alaa Abdelfattah is one of the most prominent jailed activists in Egypt.
On Sunday, in conjunction with the beginning of COP27, he escalated his 200-day hunger strike to zero calories and stopped drinking water. Since then, Abdelfattah’s family has not received letters from him or proof that he is still alive or conscious.
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