Ala Abd al-Fatah: Boris Johnson may release British-Egyptian activist detained in Egypt, family says Political News – News 24

The sister of a British-Egyptian activist held in ‘inhuman’ conditions as a political prisoner in Egypt has said Boris Johnson could secure his release.

Sana Seif told Sky News’s Beth Rigby interview that she believed a “firm phone call” from the prime minister to Egyptian authorities would lead to the release of her brother, Ala Abd al-Fatah, from prison.

Ms Seif said she was “confused” that she and other members of Mr Abd al-Fatih’s family were yet to meet Foreign Minister Liz Truss as part of a campaign to free them.

Ala Abd al-Fatah, a dual British and Egyptian national, became a prominent pro-democracy campaigner during the 2011 protests in Cairo’s Tahrir Square that led to the downfall of President Hosni Mubarak.

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it was Recently sentenced to five years for sharing a Facebook post about human rights abuses Jailed in Egyptian prisons in 2019 and on hunger strike since last month.

Mr. Abd al-Fatih has spent eight of the last ten years in prison.

Learn more about the interview with Beth Rigby

Ms. Safe described having “times of despair” but also “times of possibility”.

“We need a secretary of state and I’m confused. I don’t know why, because all I see is a lot of sympathy. I can see that there is support,” Ms. Safe told Sky News political editor Beth Rigby.

“We are still in touch with the embassy, ​​so I do not understand why we have not met the foreign minister yet. ,

Asked what she would ask the prime minister or foreign minister to do to help her brother, Ms. Seif continued: “Basically to meet us, but at the end of the day I know the prime minister A call from the firm followed by a phone call a strong conversation with the Foreign Office will exclude Ala.

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“I know we’ve seen that with the French, we’ve seen that with Americans and we’re hearing from other governments, we’re hearing from Germans and Americans that they’re supporting.

“They stand with the British for this, to get this, to bring this home. ,

image:
Sana Saif campaigns for the release of her brother Ala Abd al-Fatiho

Ms Seif said she “expects more than ever” that her brother will be released, but Mr Abd al-Fatih “unfortunately is not”.

“Ala thinks he’s going to die in prison,” she told Sky News.

“I’ve kept hope. I really hope so. I think it’s easy, it’s easy if we reach out to the right people.”

“I think the precedent is, we know the recipe for doing it. France has done it, the United States has done it, and the UK has certainly been able to do it. Just a matter of going about it the right way.” Is. “

Ms. Safe said Britain had succeeded in keeping Anglo-Iranian prisoners safe Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe and Anushe Ashuri were released in March However they had to negotiate with Iran which is “a hostile country”.

Referring to his brother’s detention, he also described how Mr. Abd ed-Fatah “became one of the regime’s main targets” in 2013 when the military took power in Egypt.

“For them, Aalha is just a symbol and a symbol that inspires a younger generation. So they attack Ala and keep putting her in jail to set an example with her,” said Ms. Safe.

“Ala was sentenced to five years for a protest and not organizing a protest,” she continued, “He passed out, then they arrested him again and took him to Facebook. charged to post.

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“A Facebook post he didn’t write, a Facebook post he shared about human rights abuses happening in prison. ,

Ms. Safe said the last time she saw her brother was in March and he had not been on hunger strike for the past 75 days.

image:
Ala Abd al-Fatih’s first meeting with her newborn son was after his release from prison in December 2011

She said her sister had seen Mr Abd al-Fatih last week and he “looked very weak” and “like he was just skin and bones”.

Last month, a group of lawmakers and peers wrote to the foreign secretary urging action to secure the release of Mr.

A letter to Ms Truss, signed by 10 lawmakers including Labour’s Ben Bradshaw, Tory David Jones and Liberal Democrat Layla Moran – and 17 members of the House of Lords said she was being kept in “inhumane” conditions.

Abd al-Fatih, the father of a 10-year-old boy, was denied two-and-a-half years of reading material, exercise, sunlight or bedding, he said.

The letter called on the government to “use all possible means” to secure consular access for Mr. Abd al-Fatah, insisting on an immediate improvement in his conditions and transfer out of the maximum security prison.

He asked ministers to push for his release “either in Egypt or in Britain”.

Commenting after the letter was published, Shadow Foreign Secretary David Lamy said the treatment of Mr Abd al-Fatih by the Egyptian authorities had become “increasingly cruel and degrading”.

A Foreign Office spokesman said: “The UK Government continues to take up the case of Ala Abd al-Fatih at the highest levels of the Egyptian government.

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“We are working urgently to ensure consular access to Mr. Abd al-Fatih. We are also concerned by reports that he is on a hunger strike.

“The well being of British citizens in custody remains a high priority. ,

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