Hunger striker's sister flies into Egypt COP27 to campaign for his release

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[1/3] Sanaa Seif, sister of jailed Egyptian activistic Alaa Abdel Fattah, speaks to Reuters upon her accomplishment to property for his merchandise during COP27, astatine the Red Sea edifice successful Sharm El-Sheikh, Egypt, November 7, 2022. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

SHARM EL-SHEIKH, Egypt, Nov 7 (Reuters) - The sister of Egyptian-British hunger striker Alaa Abd el-Fattah landed successful Sharm el-Sheikh connected Monday to run for his merchandise arsenic British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and different satellite leaders flew successful for the COP27 clime summit.

Sunak has said helium would rise Abd el-Fattah's lawsuit with Egypt's leadership. Abd el-Fattah had informed his household that helium would halt drinking h2o connected Sunday successful an escalation of his protest.

"I don't cognize if we're talking astir hours oregon days, I'm really, truly scared," said Sanaa Seif, Abd el-Fattah's sister, who arrived successful Sharm el-Sheikh successful the aboriginal hours of Monday.

She said she had travel to the acme "to beryllium a benignant of physical, embarrassing reminder of my member who is close present dying, some for the British authorities and the Egyptian authorities.

"I'm conscionable disquieted it whitethorn beryllium excessively late," she added. "I ideate this is thing that should person been resolved earlier the premier curate ever acceptable ft successful Egypt."

Abd el-Fattah roseate to prominence during Egypt's 2011 fashionable uprising but has been detained for astir of the play since. Sentenced astir precocious successful December 2021 to 5 years connected charges of spreading mendacious news, helium has been connected hunger strike for 220 days against his detention and situation conditions.

Egyptian officials person not responded to Reuters' telephone calls for remark connected Abd el-Fattah's case. They said antecedently that helium was receiving meals and was moved to a situation with amended conditions earlier this year.

Moustafa Bakry, a pro-government subordinate of Egypt's parliament, said Sunak's pledge to intervene was "manifest interference" successful Egypt's interior affairs and that Abd el-Fattah had been sentenced "according to the law".

Abd el-Fattah's household said helium was lone consuming minimal calories and immoderate fibre to prolong himself earlier successful the year. After household visits successful October, Sanaa Seif said: "He looks precise weak, he's fading distant slowly, helium looks similar a skeleton."

Former British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who was besides astatine COP27, said connected Monday helium had pressed for consular entree and for Abd el-Fattah's merchandise erstwhile helium was inactive successful office.

"I raised it astir recently, personally with President (Abdel Fattah al-) Sisi conscionable a fewer weeks agone erstwhile I was inactive premier minister...President Sisi did look to maine to beryllium unfastened to discussion," Johnson said.

Some rights campaigners person criticised the determination for Egypt to big COP27, citing Cairo's agelong crackdown connected governmental dissent successful which rights groups accidental tens of thousands person been detained. They person besides raised concern implicit entree and abstraction for protests astatine the United Nations clime talks.

Sisi has said information measures were needed to stabilise Egypt aft the 2011 uprising. Egypt is hoping to rise its diplomatic profile by hosting the clime talks.

Reporting by Aidan Lewis, Jehad Abu Shalbak, and Farah Saafan; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Mark Heinrich

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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