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Abdel-Fattah, Egyptian pro-democracy activist

Egypt says jailed hunger striker, Abdel-Fattah, in good health

Alaa Abdel-Fattah


A prominent jailed pro-democracy campaigner, who is on a total hunger strike according to his family, is in “good health,” says the Egyptian government.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah, a key figure in Egypt’s 2011 uprising, began a partial hunger strike in April, but then stopped drinking water as of Sunday, to coincide with the start of a major UN climate conference in Egypt, according to his family.

Egypt’s public prosecution said late on Thursday that a medical team had examined Abdel-Fattah and concluded he is in good health.

The assertion came hours after the family of the Egyptian-British activist said he had been given “medical intervention” by authorities to keep him alive, and requested he be transferred to a hospital outside the prison.

But the Egyptian prosecution said he is in good health and there is no need to transfer him to a hospital.

Tests have shown that his biological signs – including blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar rate, and temperature – are “within their normal levels,” the statement read.

“This denotes that his food and water strike is a doubtful matter,” it added.

Abdel-Fattah, now 40, was sentenced in December to five years in prison on charges of spreading fake news, an accusation that his family dismisses as politically motivated.

There have been increasing international calls recently for Egypt to free Abdel-Fattah, amid warnings that his life is at risk.

Egypt’s rights record under incumbent President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi has drawn international criticism amid a crackdown on dissidents.

Al-Sissi took over in 2014, a year after the army, then led by him, deposed Islamist president Mohammed Morsi following mass protests against Morsi’s divisive rule.

Thousands of secular and Islamist activists have since been rounded up.

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