Alaa Abdel Fattah 'ready for the next battle’ says sister Mona Seif ahead of full hunger strike

Alaa Abdel Fattah 'ready for the next battle’ says sister Mona Seif ahead of full hunger strike
Mona Seif, the sister of imprisoned Egyptian activist and British citizen Alaa Abdel Fattah, said her brother was escalating his hunger strike so he could return home to his family, adding that he was 'ready' for this next battle.
2 min read
03 November, 2022
The 40-year-old told his relatives that he would stop drinking water after Sunday [Getty/file photo]

Alaa Abdel Fattah is "ready to take his battle to the next level", said his sister Mona Seif when speaking to The New Arab on Thursday. 

The Egyptian activist and British citizen, sentenced to five years in December for "spreading false news", announced this week that he would escalate his hunger strike during the COP27 conference in Sharm al-Sheikh. 

The 40-year-old human rights defender has consumed just 100 calories for more than 200 days in a push to gain British consular access. From Sunday, he will stop eating all food and drinking water. 

Mona, speaking as part of a sit-in outside the UK Foreign Office aimed at pressuring British politicians into action, said her brother was taking this drastic measure because he wants to be reunited with his family. 

"You could see that he was going to these extreme measures not for a death wish but because he wants to be with us. He wants to be with Khaled [his son]," she said. 

"Hopefully this will actually win him back his freedom given what he has endured for nine years," Mona added. 

Alaa was a prominent figure in the pro-democracy uprising that led to the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak in 2011. 

He has been jailed for the majority of the last decade, a punishment viewed internationally as a deliberate attempt by Egyptian authorities to crack down on freedom of speech. 

Mona said her family finally received a call from UK Foreign Secretary James Cleverly this week which recognised the criticality of his case. 

However, she speculated that unless a new diplomatic plan was adopted by London, communication efforts with Egyptian authorities over Alaa's release are unlikely to bring about any substantial progress. 

"Our worry is communicating is not enough," she said. 

A vigil will take place outside Downing Street at 4pm on Sunday to mark Alaa's escalating hunger strike as COP27 starts.