Video proves jailed activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah is not on hunger strike: Egypt's interior ministry

Ahram Online , Thursday 9 Jun 2022

The Egyptian Ministry of Interior said on Thursday that it has submitted to the prosecution footage recorded from inside the prison cell of activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah that disproves "the false claim of the imprisoned activist’s hunger strike."

Alaa Abdel-Fattah
File Photo: Activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.

The footage also refutes the claim that books have not been allowed into his prison cell, the Ministry of Interior said in a brief statement.

The ministry’s remarks come after Abdel-Fattah's family affirmed that he is still on hunger strike which started more than 60 days ago, according to media reports on Tuesday.

In response to the ministry's statement, Abdel-Fattah’s lawyer, Khaled Ali, requested on Thursday to see the ministry’s footage and for Abdel-Fattah to be referred to an “independent” medical committee to determine whether the activist is on hunger strike.

The Egyptian-British activist Abdel-Fattah was transferred to Wadi Al-Natroun Correctional and Rehabilitation Centre in mid-May as per a request by the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) for the newly-established centre’s “advanced medical capabilities.”

The NCHR said earlier in May that it received a petition signed by 500 Egyptian women urging the activist’s admission to the prison’s hospital in order to be placed under medical observation after being on hunger strike for more than 40 days at the time.

On Sunday, a delegation from the NCHR conducted an inspection tour at the Wadi Al-Natroun centre to check on the conditions of inmates, asserting that Abdel-Fattah’s health condition is “stable.”

Abdel-Fattah’s “vital signs are in the normal rates,” the NCHR said in a statement, noting that the activist undergoes “periodic medical examination and receives the nutritional supplements allocated to him by the prison administration.”

The prison administration has not issued any reports that Abdel Fattah or the other inmates in the centre are on hunger strike, the NCHR statement also noted.

Abdel-Fattah, who has spent most of his time in prison since 2013, has been in prison since 2019 and is now serving a five-year sentence for joining a terrorist group and spreading false news inside and outside the country.

In November, the Court of Cassation upheld a ruling placing Abdel-Fattah and 26 others on the country’s terrorism list for a five-year period.

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