Dear fellow Wikimedians of the UK,
I am writing to you to bring to your attention the case of my friend and
fellow free knowledge activist, the British-Egyptian Alaa Abd El-Fattah,
currently wrongfully imprisoned in Egypt under trumped up charges. Alaa is
on his second month of hunger strike and *urgently needs UK consular
Alaa is a writer, an award-winning human rights blogger, a software
developer, anda proponent of open knowledge. He is being targeted by the
Egyptian regime for speaking up for democracy and freedom. He is father to
a ten-year-old sona and an Amnesty Prisoner of Conscience
<https://www.amnesty.org/en/documents/mde12/2393/2020/en/>. He was
sentenced in December 2021 to 5 years in prison for resharing a Facebook
post about the deteriorating conditions in Egypt’s prisons.
Alaa has been subjected to torture and arbitrarily detained since September
2019. For two and a half years, he has been kept in a cell with no access
to books, newspapers or sunlight. He is not allowed a wristwatch to tell
the time of day, or exercise time outside his cell. His visits are limited
to one family member per month, for twenty minutes, through a glass
barrier, without a moment of privacy or physical contact.
Alaa is demanding his right to a visit from the British consulate, which is
yet to be secured since it was first requested in December 2021.
He began an open-ended hunger strike on April 2nd and his family fear for
The FCDO is fully aware of Alaa’s case, and his family have been liaising
directly with the British embassy in Cairo. However, I am extremely
concerned that things are not moving fast enough considering how
his situation is
the lack of progress in improving the conditions of his detention.
*I urge you to contact your MPs* *asking them to urgently write to Foreign
Secretary Liz Truss and ask what steps are being taken to address Alaa’s
wellbeing, ensure an immediate consular visit, and secure his release. *
*His family are also looking for MPs to table questions, submit EDMs and
host events in Westminster to raise Alaa's case. Please
contact freedomforalaa(a)gmail.com <freedomforalaa(a)gmail.com> if you are able
For more information on Alaa, I recommend the recent Washington Post
Editorial Board’s piece: “A voice of the Arab Spring is being wrongfully
detained. Let him go free.”
contains more background on Alaa's situation.
Following is an appeal by Alaa's sister: