Climate activists say plight of jailed Alaa Abd El Fattah shows protesters’ voices will be ignored at Sharm el-Sheikh summit
Five months before a pivotal UN climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, one of Egypt’s most prominent political prisoners remains behind bars. Now on his 89th day of a hunger strike, Alaa Abd El Fattah is subsisting on just a hundred calories a day, normally in the form of skimmed milk or a spoonful of honey in his tea.
Abd El Fattah, a figurehead of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, has spent most of the past decade in prison. First jailed for organising demonstrations against a law that in effect banned protest altogether, he was re-arrested in 2019 during anti-government protests in which he had no involvement, and last year was sentenced to a further five years in a maximum security prison on charges of “spreading false news undermining national security”, for comments about torture on social media.