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August 19, 2022
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‘It’s a sham’: Egypt accused of restricting protest in run-up to Cop27

Climate activists say plight of jailed Alaa Abd El Fattah shows protesters’ voices will be ignored at Sharm el-Sheikh summit

Five months before a pivotal UN climate summit in Sharm el-Sheikh, one of Egypt’s most prominent political prisoners remains behind bars. Now on his 89th day of a hunger strike, Alaa Abd El Fattah is subsisting on just a hundred calories a day, normally in the form of skimmed milk or a spoonful of honey in his tea.

Abd El Fattah, a figurehead of Egypt’s 2011 revolution, has spent most of the past decade in prison. First jailed for organising demonstrations against a law that in effect banned protest altogether, he was re-arrested in 2019 during anti-government protests in which he had no involvement, and last year was sentenced to a further five years in a maximum security prison on charges of “spreading false news undermining national security”, for comments about torture on social media.

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