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Egyptian-British Activist Ends Hunger Strike, Says Family

The news was delivered to his family today in a letter from prison

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Sadaf Hasan
Sadaf Hasan
Aspiring reporter covering trending topics

EGPYT: Alaa Abd el-Fattah, a British-Egyptian author and technology pioneer who is detained, has ended his hunger strike after more than seven months, putting an end to a protest that overshadowed Egypt’s hosting of the COP27 global climate talks.

The news was delivered to his family today in a letter from prison. In a tweet, his sister, Mona Seif, shared a letter from him.

“I’ve broken my strike.” “I’ll explain everything on Thursday,” Abd el-Fattah said in a letter dated Monday that Seif posted on Twitter.

An activist and blogger named Abd el-Fattah rose to prominence during the Arab Spring uprising that led to Hosni Mubarak’s ouster, and he afterwards served as a symbol for the tens of thousands of Egyptians, from liberals to Islamists, who were targeted in retaliatory crackdowns.

He has been on a hunger strike since April in protest of his arrest and the circumstances of his prison, and last week, at the commencement of the UN climate conference in the Red Sea resort of Sharm el-Sheikh, he announced that he would cease drinking water.

Several world leaders, including U.S. President Joe Biden, brought up their issue with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

“I feel both relieved and apprehensive; Thursday can’t come soon enough… “Keep him in your thoughts and prayers,” his sister tweeted.

In his most recent letter, he expressed concern for his mother’s well-being and requested that they bring him a cake for his birthday on Thursday.

“I haven’t celebrated for a long time and want to celebrate with my cellmates, so bring a cake,” he wrote in his letter.

The prison authorities have given him access to write to his family once a week.

A well-known pro-democracy activist in Egypt, Abd el-Fattah, has spent the majority of the last ten years behind bars.

Human rights advocates assert that his trial and ongoing confinement are “retaliation” for his leadership of the 2011 uprising against then-President Hosni Mubarak.

On November 1, Abd el-Fattah, 40, began a hunger strike in a Cairo prison. On November 6, he stopped drinking water as world leaders gathered in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, a resort town on the Red Sea, for the COP27 climate summit.

Seif spoke to journalists and summit attendees about his story, which garnered attention.

Abdel-Fattah started the strike in retaliation for the Egyptian government’s long-term incarceration of him on suspicion of distributing false information. Additionally, he has raised awareness about the situation of other political prisoners.

On Monday, his family heard that he had resumed drinking water. Sanaa Seif, his other sister, expressed pleasure that “Alaa is alive; he claims he’s drinking water again as of November 12th” and said that it was “proof of life, at last.”

Also Read: Egypt Demands Return of Iconic Rosetta Stone 200 Years after Decipherment

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