Alaa sits outside wearing a grey t-shirt smiling widely at the camera. Text overaly reads: To Rishi Sunak, Help free Alaa. Amnesty logo

Alaa Abdel Fattah is a British national, a writer and a father of a young son who was born while Alaa was in prison. Alaa advocated for human rights in Egypt, and has been unjustly imprisoned since 2019 for his human rights work.

In the run up to the elections in Egypt in December 2023, we are ramping up the pressure on UK MPs to urge the Government to do everything in their power to help secure his release.

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Hunger Strikes

In 2022, Alaa’s family staged a protest outside Government buildings in London and Alaa went on hunger strike to protest both his detention and the UK government’s lack of action to secure his release. His health was already in decline, and his family were deeply worried for his survival.

On Monday 14th November 2022, Alaa's sister confirmed that they had obtained proof that Alaa was alive, and that he has begun drinking water again.  A few days later on Thursday 17th November 2022, his family were finally allowed to visit and they communicated that Alaa's condition has deteriorated severely.

Amnesty International received confirmation that a ‘medical intervention’ had taken place. We were concerned that any ‘intervention’ was unlikely to have been compliant with medical ethics and could have involved coercion or interference by authorities.

Alaa’s family were deeply concerned for his health as a result of this news.

“Alaa's body is in an incredibly precarious state and the wrong intervention could have terrible consequences. This is against his will, illegal and inhumane” - Omar Robert Hamilton, Alaa’s cousin.

On Alaa's birthday last year, we demanded Rishi Sunak to act. Help raise the profile of Alaa's case and pressure the UK government to act.

 

Who is Alaa?

Alaa, a British National, is a writer and a father who is unjustly imprisoned in Egypt. He has been an advocate for human rights in the country, and has been detained for his human rights work.

Alaa was involved in the 25 January 2011 Revolution that led to the toppling of then president, Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. He has been repeatedly detained for his activism, meaning that his son was born while Alaa was in prison for several months. In 2019, he was arrested and in December 2021 was sentenced to five years in prison for sharing a social media post about torture.

Some of his family live in the UK, and have been campaigning for his release for many months, including staging a sit-in outside the Foreign & Commonwealth Development Office. In June, actors Judi Dench, Mark Ruffalo and Emma Thompson all joined the campaign for his freedom.

How did Alaa’s case link to COP27?

This year the annual international meeting about climate change took place in Egypt. The run up to the event was marked by the detention of hundreds of people in Cairo for content on their phones. This is part of a wider crackdown on human rights that has been taking place in the country for years.

As the world’s attention is focussed on COP27, Alaa escalated his hunger strike to protest his unjust imprisonment. His sister, Sanaa flew from the UK to Egypt to ramp up the pressure on British and Egyptian authorities to act.  

As a key player at COP27, we called on the UK government to prioritise securing Alaa’s release.

Help ramp up the pressure on the UK Government to immediately secure Alaa’s release by sharing our post to help get the Prime Minister's attention: