UK MPs urge fresh action to secure Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abdel Fattah's release
Over 100 British lawmakers on Monday expressed concern at the lack of progress in the case of a jailed British-Egyptian activist and urged the UK government to adopt "fresh approaches" to secure his release.
Alaa Abdel Fattah - a key figure in the 2011 revolt that topped Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak - was given British citizenship in 2022 through his British-born mother.
The pro-democracy and rights campaigner is serving a five-year prison sentence for "spreading false news" by sharing a Facebook post about police brutality.
"Private lobbying of the Egyptian government even at the highest levels is yet to deliver results. This calls for fresh approaches," the lawmakers from the lower and upper house of the UK parliament say in a letter to Foreign Secretary James Cleverly.
The lawmakers want the UK to "take the lead on a joint statement on Egypt" at the UN Human Rights Council and to update the UK's travel advice to align it with the United States government's advice.
The US government warns that US citizenship does not provide protection from detention or arrest in Egypt and that those detained may be subject to "prolonged interrogations and extended detention".
The letter, which will be delivered later Monday, says that the British embassy in Cairo has been prevented from visiting Abdel Fattah in jail for the past 18 months.