9 November 2022. On Sunday 6 November, COP27, the United Nations Climate Change Conference, opened in Egypt. A new event where the governments of the world discuss policies to mitigate climate change. In parallel to the start of COP27, one of the key figures of the 2011 Arab Spring, activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, intensified his hunger strike. He had already been on reduced calorie intake for 200 days, stopped eating food on 1 November, and stopped drinking water on 6 November.
Alaa Abdel Fattah played a leading role in the revolution that led to the overthrow of dictator Hosni Mubarak. He was one of the most followed critical voices. Since the coup d’état and the establishment of a new dictatorship, he has been serving prison sentences for his activism on and off since 2013. In 2021, he was sentenced to 5 years in prison under a farcical court case for allegedly spreading “fake news”, in which year he was also granted British citizenship. While he was imprisoned, his book “You have not yet been defeated” was published, with reflections on the Egyptian revolution and counter-revolution. For 6 months he has been on a hunger strike on liquids (milk, honey, and tea), and this month he intensified it, demanding his release and consular access to the UK.
Relatives of the political prisoner demand proof of life and hold the regime responsible for Alaa’s life. They also denounce that there are tens of thousands of political prisoners under Al Sisi’s repressive regime. With demonstrations and events at the British embassy, his sister has demanded that the British government act and mediate before it is too late, and travelled to Egypt to attend COP27 and denounce the situation. The solidarity campaign was joined by cultural personalities and international figures such as Nobel Prize winners Svetlana Alexievich, JM Coetzee, Annie Ernaux, and Louise Glück, among others.
The dictatorship of Al Sisi and those governments that take part in COP27 and are accomplices of the Egyptian regime, especially the UK and the US, handle the fate of the fighter. From the International Workers’ Unity – Fourth International, we demand the immediate release of Alaa Abdel Fattah and all political prisoners in Egypt, and no more persecution and repression by the Al Sisi regime. Alaa Abdel Fattah, you are not defeated yet!