Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abdel Fattah is now under “medical supervision” after escalating his hunger strike to zero calories, coinciding with Egypt’s COP27 climate conference.
There are no details with regards to the medical intervention, but the family has expressed concerns that prison officials would resort to “force-feed[ing]” Abdel Fattah, which would “amount to torture.” Abdel Fattah has, in the past, asserted that he was prepared to die in prison if not freed.
When his mother, Leila Soueif, spoke to prison authorities over the phone, she was told Abdel Fattah was consensually undergoing medical procedures, and that his condition was “good.”
Khaled Ali, Abdel Fattah’s family lawyer, has been granted permission to visit Abdel Fattah and potentially give an update on his health, according to Mona Seif, Abdel Fattah’s sister.
“None of us really wants to face the reality that my brother is about to die,” said Sanaa Seif, his other sister. “They have killed people before […] another prisoner died as a consequence of a hunger strike; this is not the first or last case.”
Abdel Fattah’s case has been a source of contention for Egypt, with international appeals for his release reaching all-time highs before and during the COP27 conference. Egypt has not yet released official statements acknowledging these calls for his release.
Abdel Fattah is currently serving a five-year sentence for “spreading false news” after sharing a Facebook post about police brutality in Egypt.