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Alaa Abdel Fattah "under medical treatment" according to Egypt

"We need our mother to see him, or a representative from the British Embassy so that we can know what state of health he really is," his sister, Mona Seif, tweeted.

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Alaa Abdel Fattah "under medical treatment" according to Egypt

"We need our mother to see him, or a representative from the British Embassy so that we can know what state of health he really is," his sister, Mona Seif, tweeted.

Since Alaa Abdel Fattah quit drinking on Sunday, the opening day of COP27 in Egypt, his mother Laila Soueif has been going to Wadi Natrun prison every day, 100 kilometers northwest of Cairo, without manage to get news.

The family is worried: has Alaa been transferred to another prison, to the prison hospital or is he simply no longer fit to be seen?

On Thursday, an officer came out of the prison to tell his mother that the detainee was "under medical treatment" and that "the prosecution had been informed". Neither the family nor the lawyers have been notified, accuses Mona Seif. And no details were given about this "medical treatment".

- "Forced fed" -

For Hossam Bahgat, founder of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), the country's largest human rights NGO, "that means he is being force-fed".

Fearing this possibility, as of Wednesday, his aunt, the writer Ahdaf Soueif, demanded his transfer "in an emergency to the university hospital of Qasr al-Aini", the largest public health establishment in Cairo, arguing that the hospital of the prison was not equipped to treat a patient who ingested only 100 calories a day for seven months.

While his defenders give him only a few days to live - unless he is force-fed, which is considered by international law to be "torture" and even a "crime against humanity - the mobilization is accentuated.

Thursday morning, dressed in white like Egyptian prisoners, hundreds of COP27 participants in Sharm el-Sheikh, more than 600 km south of Wadi Natrun, chanted "Free Alaa!" and "Free them all!" in reference to the more than 60,000 political detainees in Egypt, according to NGOs.

This question, which is extremely sensitive in Egypt, 136th out of 139 countries in the world ranking of the rule of law by the World Justice Project, is now unavoidable at COP27.

Under pressure from civil society and faced with the imminent danger of Alaa Abdel Fattah's death, several Western leaders demanded his release from Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi.

- "Free Alaa!" -

Faced with international mobilization, the counter-campaign is organized.

A deputy took on Sanaa Seif, the other sister of Alaa Abdel Fattah, at COP27 before being expelled by UN security. The Egyptian representation in Geneva protested against the UN which denounced "unfair trials" and "arbitrary arrests".

A lawyer has filed a complaint against Sanaa Seif for "conspiracy with foreigners" and "false information", reports the campaign which campaigns for the release of Alaa Abdel Fattah.

The prosecution has yet to decide whether to accept this complaint, but it is for the same charge of spreading "false information" that his brother was sentenced to five years in prison at the end of 2021.

He had shared a post, written by someone else, accusing an officer of killing an inmate under torture.

Thursday morning, they were still hundreds to chant: "Free all political prisoners!", "Free Alaa" and "no climate justice without human rights".

"You have not yet been defeated", "You have not yet been defeated" in English, proclaimed banners and slogans, the title of Alaa Abdel Fattah's book.

"We are carrying out this action to draw attention to those who are made invisible, hidden behind high walls, incarcerated in the country hosting COP27 and all over the world," one of the organizers told AFP. George Galvis.

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