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The family of British-Egyptian Alaa Abd El-Fattah on hunger strike said medical intervention had been undertaken to maintain his health.
Prison authorities have notified the 40-year-old’s family in Cairo.
“They said medical procedures have been implemented to maintain his health and legal persons have been notified,” his mother Laila Soueif told Reuters by phone.
“No one has officially informed us of the measures that have been taken.”
The nature of the medical intervention was not known, but the family expressed fears that prison officials would force-feed Mr. Abdel-Fattah, which they said would amount to torture.
As relatives scrambled for details of Mr. Abdel-Fattah’s medical condition, prison officials refused to allow a family lawyer to visit him despite approval from the prosecutor’s office.
Khaled Ali who said Interior Ministry officials told him the approval was not valid as it was dated Wednesday, adding in a tweet that he was only informed of the approval Thursday morning.
Mr. Abd El Fattah, a human rights activist, stopped drinking water on Sunday, after a six-month hunger strike to protest against his unjust detention and Cairorefusal to grant him consular access.
Without water, Amnesty International’s prisoner of conscience will likely die within days.
His mother added: “They say he is still in prison. They refused to allow me to wait outside the prison, refused to receive letters from me.
In a Facebook post this morning, her sister Mona Seif wrote, “How can they not inform us and the lawyers? How can we not see Alaa ourselves? adding in a tweet that she is “terrified”.
Tagging Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary James Cleverly and Commonwealth Foreign Affairs and Development Minister Lord Ahmed, she also wrote: “Surely our mother should see him, or someone from @UKinEgypt so we understand his real state of health!! »
Egypt is currently hosting COP27 and Mr Sunak is in the country alongside dozens of world leaders, on his first major international trip since taking office.
Before flying to Sharm el-Sheikh for the summit, Mr Sunak promised Mr Abdel-Fattah’s family securing his release was a “priority” for the government.
However, he was later filmed dodging calls from reporters to comment on the state of negotiations.
Mr. Abdel-Fattah, one of Egypt’s best-known pro-democracy activists, has spent most of the past decade behind bars. He is currently serving his final five-year prison sentence for sharing a Facebook post criticizing prison conditions. He has repeatedly called for the release of all those unjustly detained in the country.
Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi has been accused by right-wing groups of strangling freedoms and violently suppressing dissent since he came to power after a military coup in 2013.
Authorities have arrested tens of thousands of people, while hundreds of protesters have been killed over the years. Demonstrations are effectively banned and hundreds of websites have been shut down, including most recently this week the Human Rights Watch website.
Meanwhile, rights groups said they fear the 40-year-old could survive a water and hunger strike.
“I cannot stress how dangerous his situation is,” said Hussein Bayoumi, Egypt researcher at Amnesty International. The Independent tuesday.
“It is essential that the Egyptian authorities allow contact [with his family] and access to independent medical professionals chosen by his family who can access his medical situation, otherwise we risk Alaa Abdel-Fattah dying in prison.