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Thursday, 27 June 2019

Political parties, groups express solidarity with jailed hunger strikers

Another jailed activist joins a growing hunger strike as detainees and supporters plan a peaceful escalation to highlight the plight and cause of Egypt's prisoners of conscience

Ahram Online, Wednesday 27 Aug 2014
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Jailed hunger strikers, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, Ibrahim El-Yamany, Mohamed Sultan, Ahmed Zeyada, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman (Nubi), Karim Abdel-Sattar and Moemen Imam (Photo: Courtesy of Freedom for the Brave campaign)
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As another jailed activist, Ahmed Abdel-Rahman (known as Hamada El-Nubi), announced joining a growing hunger strike, political parties and groups released a statement in solidarity, condemning the 2013 protest law and the detention of opposition activists.

“Hamada El-Nubi has announced his hunger strike after 75 days have passed since his detention in the well known case (known as the Shura Council case) in which he together with two others of the January 25 activists, including Alaa Abdel-Fattah and Wael Metwally, were sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison.”

The three leftist activists were sentenced together with 20 others who were charged in the same case but not arrested. The 24 were tried for joining a demonstration that did not acquire a permit from authorities as dictated by a new controversial protest law.

“Hamada Nubi will start the strike after all other means have been exhausted and only this difficult and dangerous choice remained ... to bet the lives of our young in order to obtain our just and natural rights ... Nubi thus declared his hunger strike starting 26 August,” the statement further added.

The strike is to protest, the statement explained:

— The “15 years verdict given in absentia despite the presence of the accused who were arrested in front of the court”;

— The bad conditions inside prisons and “his (Nubi’s) treatment as though he is a fugitive barring him his right to file for a retrial outside prison”;

— Referring the case to a terrorism court “for no apparent reason as the youths were protesting peacefully.”

The strike is also in solidarity with jailed activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah and family, whose sister Sanaa Seif was also arrested on similar charges.

Abdel-Fattah’s father, lawyer Seif El-Islam, died hours following the release of the statement. His son Alaa and his daughter Sanaa were allowed one visit to him in hospital during their detention.

“The undersigned declare their full solidarity with the strike of Hamada El-Nubi and Alaa Abdel-Fattah and all those political detainees joining them,” the statement said, adding that they also demand the release of all prisoners of conscience.

The groups include the Egyptian Popular Current, the Constitution Party, the Bread and Freedom Party, The Egyptian Social Democratic Party and the Egypt Freedom Party.

Socialist activist Mahinour El-Masry, who is currently serving a six-month sentence for violating the protest law, also announced her decision to join the strike last week.

Others started a similar hunger strike earlier in the year. Egyptian-American Mohamed Sultan, arrested in August 2013 following the forced dispersal of the pro-Mohamed Morsi protest camp at Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square in Cairo, has been on hunger strike for over 200 days.

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