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Sister of jailed Egypt dissident announces hunger strike

Egyptian activist Mona Seif announced Wednesday that she had begun a hunger strike in solidarity with her jailed brother Alaa Abdel Fattah, who has reportedly gone for 75 days without food.

Abdel Fattah, a key figure in the 2011 revolt that toppled longtime Egyptian autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has been on a hunger strike since early April to protest his prison conditions, according to his family.

“I’m not a prisoner, I have so many other means and paths to protest, but this time I am using my body to mirror Alaa’s hunger strike,” Seif tweeted.

“Everyday I deprive myself of food, is bonded by the days Alaa has starved himself in prison,” she added. “Day 4 of my hunger strike. Day 75 of Alaa’s.”

I’m not a prisoner, I have so many other means &paths to protest, but this time I am using my body to mirror @alaa’s hunger strike.
Everyday I deprive my self of food, is bonded by the days Alaa has starved him self in prison

Day 4 of my hunger strike
Day 75 of Alaa’s#SaveAlaa pic.twitter.com/LW7VAmsI76
— Mona Seif (@Monasosh) June 15, 2022

Egypt’s interior ministry said last week it had footage that “disproves” his family’s reports that Abdel Fattah has been on hunger strike for weeks.

In response to the statement, his sister tweeted that the ministry should “share this footage with his family, lawyers and Alaa”, allow a consular visit and investigate reports the family had filed about Abdel Fattah’s condition.

Abdel Fattah gained UK citizenship in April from inside prison, through his British-born mother Laila Soueif. His family has since been pushing for a consular visit.

The activist has spent the better part of the past decade behind bars, mainly in the notorious Tora prison.

He is currently serving a five-year sentence for “broadcasting false news”, an accusation frequently levelled against dissidents in Egypt.

Rights groups say Egypt is holding a total of some 60,000 political prisoners, many facing brutal conditions and overcrowded cells.

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