Amnesty International’s head on Sunday warned that the proceedings of COP27 in Egypt could be stained by the death of one of the country’s leading rights activists from a hunger and water strike in prison if Egyptian authorities do not release him within days.
Secretary General of Amnesty International Agnes Callamard said Egypt had no more than 72 hours to save the life of jailed dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is also a U.K. citizen.
Egypt’s hosting of the climate summit, known as COP27, has trained a spotlight on its human rights record as a wide-reaching crackdown continues under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. The conference is being held in the Egyptian Red Sea resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
“If they do not want to end up with a death they should have and could have prevented, they must act now,” Callamard said at a news briefing in the capital Cairo.
Callamard said she will be attending COP27 to push for action on human rights issues related to climate change, including loss and damage or reparations from richer countries to vulnerable nations suffering from climate change. Egypt is a proponent of the issue.
But she will also be there to push for immediate action on the case of prominent Egyptian activist and U.K. citizen Alaa Abdel Fattah and that of the tens of thousands of political prisoners estimated to be inside the country’s jails, she said.
Opposition figure Abdel Fattah escalated his hunger strike this week, refusing also water, to coincide with the first day of the COP27, according to his family. His aunt, the writer Ahdaf Soueif, said he stopped drinking water at 10 a.m. local time on Sunday, amid growing concerns about his health.
Alaa Abdel Fattah hails from a family of well-known Egyptian activists and rose to prominence with the 2011 pro-democracy uprisings that swept the Middle East and in Egypt toppled long-time President Hosni Mubarak.
Source : france24