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British MPs call for action for Alaa Abdel Fattah

British MPs call for action for Alaa Abdel Fattah
Alaa Abdel-Fattah during a lecture at the American University ...   -  
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Nariman El-Mofty/Copyright 2019 The AP. All rights reserved.

United Kingdom

More than a hundred British parliamentarians on Monday called on the government to do more to secure the release of Egyptian-British opponent Alaa Abdel Fattah, imprisoned for more than three years.

Alaa Abdel Fattah was arrested at the end of 2019 and sentenced to five years in prison for "false information" after reposting on Facebook a text, written by another, accusing an officer of torture.

In this letter, which will be delivered to Foreign Minister James Cleverly on Monday, the parliamentarians express their "concern at the lack of progress" on this file, despite the meeting last November between Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Egyptian President Abdel Fattah . al-Sissi, on the sidelines of COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh.

During this event, the campaign led by relatives of the 42-year-old pro-democracy blogger forced the Egyptian president to raise his case with several Western leaders. He was then on a hunger strike, which had begun seven months earlier. He finally resumed eating soon after without obtaining his release.

The parliamentarians denounce in particular the fact that Alaa Abdel Fattah has not received any visit from representatives of the British Embassy in his prison.

They call on the government to act at the UN Human Rights Council level to try to get Cairo to move on this issue and ask the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to update its advice to British travellers in the country. to warn them of the risks in case of arrest.

This letter was to be delivered to the government during a rally in front of the Foreign Office in London, Monday at midday, organized by the NGO Amnesty International to mark ten years of the military coup of General Al- Sisi.

The blogger's lawyer, Mohamed al-Baqer, was also arrested in 2019 and sentenced to four years in prison for "false news". Last April, his wife Neamatallah Hisham was also briefly detained after visiting her husband and speaking out on social media about his conditions of detention.

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