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Egyptian TV presenter Reem Maged joins hunger strike campaign

A hunger strike campaign was launched two weeks ago in solidarity with detainees, who are mostly detained for violating provisions of a controversial protest law

Ahram Online, Friday 19 Sep 2014
Reem Maged
Egypt's Anchor Reem Maged (Photo: Reem Maged Facebook page)

Egyptian journalist and television presenter Reem Maged announced on Friday that she will go on a temporary hunger strike in solidarity with detainees and prisoners who are also on hunger strike.

A hunger strike campaign was launched two weeks ago in solidarity with a number of political detainees, most of whom are detained for violating provisions of a controversial protest law. The campaign calls for the protest law to be revoked, political detainees to be released, and all prison sentences given for violating the protest law to be cancelled.

Maged said via her official Twitter account that she will go on a hunger strike for 48 hours. The television host used an Arabic hashtag in her tweet, popular among the hunger strike campaigners, that translates to "we've had enough."  

Maged gained popularity among after the 25 January revolution. She stopped presenting her show on private broadcast channel ONTV over a year ago, explaining to El-Shorouk newspaper that ONTV's priorities were national security and unity while Maged's priority was freedom.

She is among many public figures that are joining the hunger strike campaign.

Rights lawyer and former presidential candidate Khaled Ali also announced a two-day hunger strike on Thursday, in solidarity with the detainees.

Over 80 people in Egyptian jails are on hunger strike to protest their detention and the widely-criticised protest law. Some 200 others outside prisons, including families of the detainees, activists and journalists, have joined the hunger strike in solidarity.

The protest law, issued last November, stipulates that protesters have to notify the ministry of interior of their protests at least three days before their protest. The interior ministry has the right to reject the protest request. Violators of the law face hefty fines and prison sentences.

Egypt's National Human Rights Council previously said that the protest law will be amended, adding that they were asked to participate in the amendments.

However, Egypt's cabinets dismissed such statements, adding that the law will not be amended.

Egyptian officials have also denied that there are any political detainees in Egypt's prisons, saying that all those detained and jailed are either convicted, charged, or being investigated for breaking the law.

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