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Alaa Abdel Fattah Vigil (Egypt) - 26 October 2022

Vigil for Alaa Abdel Fattah outside the FCDO on 26th October 2022

Our Chair and Secretary attended a vigil outside the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in support of the British-Egyptian human-rights defender Alaa Abdel Fattah. This was organised by Debora Singer (Amnesty UK's Egypt coordinator) in tandem with Mona (Alaa's sister). Richard and Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe made a very welcome appearance to show their solidarity with Alaa too. Mona related that while Alaa's physical condition was not good his mental and emotional state had lately seemed to be much more positive.

Alaa is a pro-democracy activist and founder, with his wife Manal Hassan, of the Arabic blog aggregator Manalaa. He has been held in Egypt’s prisons on and off for nine years for his part in the 25 January protests that rocked the country in 2011. In 2013, the writer was jailed by the government of Egypt’s military ruler Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and has been in prison most of the time since, where he has been both tortured and offered only limited communication with his family.

In order to bring attention to his plight, Alaa went on a partial hunger strike on 2 April this year, limiting his intake to just 100 calories a day, sipping tea with a spoonful of honey. After six months on hunger strike, his body is seriously weakened and his health is in a precarious state. Four days ago, he stopped even that meagre daily allowance and is now taking only water.

Group members have written to local MPs and the Foreign Office, as well as actively campaigning on social media in support of Alaa.

Our group are asking everybody to please urgently sign the petition to the UK government to ask them to help free Alaa. The weblink is below:

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