Alaa Abdel-Fattah: Sister of jailed Egyptian activist launches online petition calling for brother’s release

Alaa Abdel-Fattah: Sister of jailed Egyptian activist launches online petition calling for brother’s release
A petition entitled 'Help free my brother - before it's too late' has been launched by the sister of jailed Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah.
2 min read
26 August, 2022
The petition has received over 1,000 signatures [source: Getty]

The sister of detained Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah has called on the UK Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to "work as hard as she can" to secure her brother’s release as part of an online petition launched this week. 

Mona Seif, who has long sought to draw attention to her brother’s imprisonment and five-month-long hunger strike, titled the petition “Help free my brother - before it’s too late”. 

The online campaign to free the imprisoned blogger, who holds British nationality, has already secured over 1,000 signatures, just 500 below its original target. 

“We believe that if enough people demand it, the UK can bring him home,” wrote Seif on the petition website. 

“We just need the UK government to be firm in their negotiations.” 

Truss, the frontrunner in the Tory leadership race, is called upon specifically in the campaign given she told the UK parliament she was "working on securing [Alaa's] release". 

Abdel-Fattah was sentenced in December 2021 to five years in prison for charges of “broadcasting false news” after he shared a Facebook post. 

Amnesty International has denounced his detention as “unjust,” saying the grounds for his conviction were a “peaceful exercise of human rights”. 

Abdel-Fattah has been on a hunger strike since April to protest against his incarceration and inhumane prison conditions. Last week, the blogger escalated the protest, eliminating his small intake of solids. 

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On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoke with Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The two leaders discussed Abdel-Fattah’s detention, according to a UK government press release. 

“The Prime Minister and President Sisi discussed resolving the consular case of Alaa Abdel Fattah, and the Prime Minister expressed his hope for swift and positive progress on the issue,” the online statement read. 

The New Arab contacted Downing Street for more information about the high-level meeting. No further details were made available. The UK Foreign Office did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. 

Neither Abdel-Fattah nor his family expects he will be released soon.

However, Seif acknowledged in her petition that a number of dual nationals had been freed from “Egypt to France, the USA and Canada - so we know that Liz Truss can bring Alaa home".