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Jailed Egypt dissident’s health ‘deteriorated severely’: family

#Jailed #Egypt #dissidents #health #deteriorated #severely #family

Jailed British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah’s health has “deteriorated severely”, his sister said Thursday after the first family visit since he ended a seven-month long hunger strike.

Mona Seif said news from the visit was “unsettling,” in a message on Twitter. “Alaa deteriorated severely in the past two weeks, but at least they got to see him, and he needed to see the family so much”, she wrote.

After seven months consuming “100 calories a day,” Abdel Fattah escalated his strike to all food, and then water on November 6 to coincide with the start of the UN COP27 climate summit in Egypt.

Thursday was the first time the activist’s mother Laila Soueif was allowed to visit him in nearly a month, after prison authorities repeatedly denied her access last week.

The family has not disclosed more information about the visit or Abdel Fattah’s status, but “will share the full details later,” Seif added.

The pro-democracy blogger is currently serving a five-year sentence for “spreading false news” by sharing another user’s Facebook post about police brutality.

Egypt’s turn hosting the UN climate summit in the resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh is coming to an end this week.

Intended to burnish the country’s image, COP27 has brought a wave of criticism over Egypt’s human rights record, with Abdel Fattah’s case making global headlines.

Rights groups estimate Cairo is holding some 60,000 political prisoners, many of them in brutal conditions and overcrowded cells.

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