COP27 attendees chant for Alaa Abdel Fattah release during rousing plenary in Egypt

COP27 attendees chant for Alaa Abdel Fattah release during rousing plenary in Egypt
People attending the COP27 summit chanted the name of political prisoner Alaa Abdel Fattah and demanded his release.
2 min read
17 November, 2022
Journalists and activists have reported online surveillance and censorship at the COP27 summit in Egypt [Getty/archive]

Attendees at the COP27 climate summit chanted the name of British-Egyptian detainee Alaa Abdel Fattah demanding his release in a moving end to the people's plenary in Sharm El-Sheikh.

Videos on social media show crowds inside a hall chanting "Free Alaa, free them all", in reference to the tens of thousands of political prisoners held in Egyptian jails.

Speakers at the plenary ended their speeches with another tribute to Abdel Fattah: "We have not yet been defeated".

Another video showed a crowd outside holding placards calling for his release, among them Alaa's sister, Sanaa who has played a key role in highlighting his plight.

Alaa Abdel Fattah, detained on political charges, ended his six-month hunger strike earlier this week in prison. It was not clear why he took this decision but he and his family and supporters are still demanding his immediate release.

Abdel Fattah's family, who have fought hard to secure his freedom, on Thursday went to see him at the Wadi El-Natrun prison, where he is being held. 

His sister, Mona Seif, wrote on Twitter that his health had seriously worsened since her last visit two weeks ago.

"News from the visit are unsettling, @alaa deteriorated severely in the past 2 weeks, but at least they got to see him, and he needed to see the family so much," she tweeted.

"The family will share the full details later today, please bear with us #SaveAlaa #FreeAlaa."

Abdel Fattah's case has been prominent in media coverage of the COP27 summit, where journalists and activists reported online surveillance and censorship.

Friday will be thhe summit's last day.