March 29, 2023

Tumbler Ridge News

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A jailed hunger striker’s sister says she has appealed to Egypt’s president.

Mona Seif has resubmitted her first request for clemency in June, as well as a personal appeal to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, she said in a post on the social media site late Friday.

On Friday, Mr Sisi met US President Joe Biden at the COP27 climate summit in the Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh. Without naming Abd el-Fattah, the White House said Biden brought up human rights during their talks.

Sisi said he told Biden that Egypt had launched a national human rights strategy and a national dialogue.

Abd el-Fattah, a prominent blogger and activist who has been in detention for most of the past decade, has been on hunger strike since April 2. He said he would stop drinking water on Sunday, just in time for the start of the climate talks.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and other European leaders said they had raised the case of Abdel-Fattah, an Egyptian-British national, while attending the summit.

Abd el-Fattah’s mother, who visits the prison in northwest Cairo daily where he is being held, said Thursday that she had not heard from her son, but that prison officials had told her.

His lawyer, Khalid Ali, went to the prison on Thursday after receiving a rare visit permit from the attorney general, but said he was denied entry based on the fact that the permit was dated Wednesday.

Abdel-Fattah rose to prominence during Egypt’s 2011 uprising, before then-military leader Sisi ousted Egypt’s first democratically elected president, Mohamed Morsi, in 2013, before a harsh crackdown on political dissent.

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Rights groups say tens of thousands of people have been arrested, including Islamists, leftists and liberals. Sisi and his supporters say security and stability are paramount.