US lawmakers say the British-Egyptian Alaa Abdel Fattah is “in desperate need of immediate intervention to help secure his freedom.
Egypt Human Rights caucus co-chairs Representative Malinowski and Representative Don Beyer have released a letter alongside 12 colleagues expressing solidarity with British MPs in pursuing the release of Egyptian-British political prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is unjustly imprisoned in Egypt.
They say, “The deteriorating state of Alaa’s health and well-being warrant immediate action. The Egyptian govt’s tepid response to several British overtures on Alaa’s behalf make it clear that the current approach of quiet diplomacy will not secure his freedom.”
Alaa is on day 119 of a hunger strike and his mother has been denied a visit to him for several days, heightening fear about his health and wellbeing. Egyptian authorities claim Alaa is refusing family visits, which he has never before done while in prison.
The Egyptian authorities continue to illegally deny Alaa a consular visit and are now ridiculously claiming that they have no evidence that Alaa has British citizenship, despite numerous documents provided by his family, as was shown by a Facebook post that the Egyptian Public Prosecution published on 27 July.
Alaa’s family have expressed concern about his life after prison authorities said he refused visit with his mother Sunday, 24 July. The activist’s family has grown increasingly worried after they received a message from Egyptian authorities claiming that their son refused to receive a visit from his mother in prison.
Consular visits have been banned by the Egyptian authorities and the family are deeply skeptical of the excuse given by the prison authorities, pointing out that he had never refused family visits before.
“We don’t know what’s happening in that black hole that took Alaa away from us, we have to fight for every single basic right for him and us, and every week something new happens that throws us into a loop of worry, anger and unanswered questions,” Seif tweeted on 24 July.
Also, Alaa’s family has fiercely criticized UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss for her lack of involvement in his case, citing her focus on taking part in the Conservative Party leadership election.
Truss had previously stated her intention to raise Abdel Fattah’s case with the Egyptian authorities. The leading activist, who acquired British citizenship through his mother last year, has been on hunger strike since April in protest against the denial of consular visits.
“I assure the honorable lady that we are working hard to secure Alaa Abdel Fattah’s release,” Truss told the House of Commons in June, ahead of a meeting with her Egyptian counterpart in London.
Since then, however, Truss has been primarily concerned with taking part in the contest to succeed former Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who resigned in early July following a series of scandals.
Writing on Twitter, Abdel Fattah’s sister, Mona Seif, accused Truss of focusing on winning the Conservative Party leadership race at the expense of her ministerial duties
“I am exasperated! Honestly it just feels like she is intentionally dismissing our plight and her responsibility towards us!” wrote Seif.
“Where are you Liz Truss, from what’s happening to Alaa!!!”