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Civil liberties groups call for release of imprisoned Egyptian-British activist who was jailed for posting “fake news” online

Alaa Abd el-Fattah has spent most of the last decade in jail.
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Several groups have demanded the release of imprisoned Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been on hunger strike for about 7 months. He was sentenced to five years in prison in 2021 for spreading fake news.

He escalated his protests by telling his family he would stop drinking water. The dry fasting conceded with the arrival of world leaders to Egypt for the COP27 climate conference. His family said they have not heard from him since he said he would begin dry fasting.

During the climate conference, UN’s High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk demanded the immediate release of el-Fattah, arguing his life was “in great danger,” and that “his hunger strike put his life at acute risk.”

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi he hoped the issue would be sorted as soon as possible. Egyptian authorities have previously claimed that the activist was receiving meals.

Pro-government figures claim that he was convicted in court, have questioned his family’s appeal for international support, and claimed that it is interference in the country’s internal affairs.

Some human rights activists criticized the decision for the COP27 to be held in Egypt, because of the crackdown on political dissent.

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