Family of jailed activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah asks for presidential pardon

Ahram Online , Friday 11 Nov 2022

The family of jailed political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah made an appeal on Friday for Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi to pardon Abdel-Fattah like he did with former MP Ziad El-Eleimy, who was pardoned last month.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah
A file photo of Alaa Abdel-Fattah


The appeal was presented in the form of a letter to the presidency that was signed by Abdel-Fattah’s sister Mona Seif.

“One of the most important reasons for considering a pardon is that [Abdel-Fattah] is the father of an only son that was diagnosed with autism in 2014 and is unable to speak,” she said, adding that after her brother’s release in March 2019 following the completion of his first prison term, he spent most of his time with his son and enrolled him in school for the first time.

According to Mona, Alaa’s son Khaled has been the most harmed by his father’s imprisonment, and the circumstances of the imprisonment have made it hard for the boy to visit him regularly.

“After reading the plea, I ask you to issue your merciful decision to pardon my brother Alaa Abdel-Fattah,” she said.

According to Abdel-Fattah’s lawyer Khaled Ali, this is the second pardon request made by Seif to the presidency. The first request was made in June following the reactivation of the Presidential Pardon Committee in April.

Abdel-Fattah’s aunt, renowned Egyptian author Ahdaf Soeuif, also presented a written request for pardon to president of the National Council for Human Rights Moushira Khattab.

Egypt’s Public Prosecution said on Thursday that Abdel-Fattah is in good health and his condition does not merit admittance to a medical facility, but it recommended that the inmate's health be monitored periodically following the claims of his family that he has been on a full hunger strike since Monday.

In 2021, Abdel-Fattah, who has been in jail since 2019, received a final five-year prison sentence for joining a terrorist group and spreading false news inside and outside the country.

His family has launched a public campaign calling for his release, which has caused controversy during the ongoing COP27, especially following two press conferences held to discuss the issue in Sharm El-Sheikh last week.

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