Alaa Abdel Fattah: Mother of detained activist says son looked 'weaker' during last visit
The prominent blogger escalated his hunger strike against his detention during COP27 in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh.
The 40-year-old, who consumed just 100 calories a day for more than 200 days, stopped drinking water as the climate change conference started on November 6.
Laila Soueif, speaking to reporters after the UN summit, said her son looked much weaker now compared to her previous visit on October 24.
"Alaa looked even more thin and more weak," she told Democracy Now.
"I thought he looked shorter actually," she added.
Laila Soueif, British Egyptian activist Alaa Abd El-Fattah's mother, described seeing her son for the first time after he paused his total hunger and water strike last week.— Democracy Now! (@democracynow) November 22, 2022
"Alaa looked even more thin and more weak than the last … I thought, he looked shorter, actually." pic.twitter.com/vEWZ0GfwlH
Alaa’s sister, Sanaa Seif, visited the prison with her mother. Given they could only speak to Alaa via a faint one-person headset, she was told first-hand what happened to him while the COP27 climate change summit was taking place.
On November 8, Alaa was pressured by prison authorities to submit to a medical examination. After he refused and was intimidated by plainclothes officers, Alaa apparently "lost it" - had a meltdown and promised to kill himself. Back in his cell, he started to smash his head against the wall.
Alaa was then tied down and was put on suicide watch. Laila Soueif said she could see a scar on her son's head.
On Saturday 12, Alaa started drinking water again and on Monday 14 he began to eat on his own again, according to a statement from his family.
"There have been no negotiations with the authorities, and no promises have been made," the statement said, dated Thursday 17.
Alaa is considered an icon of the 2011 revolution in Egypt.
He has been in jail for nine years and was sentenced to a further five years in 2021 on charges of "broadcasting false news".