COP27 Turned into Human Rights Campaign against Egyptian Regime

The UN climate change summit (COP27) was turned into a human rights campaign as international pressure builds on the Egyptian regime to release the British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah as he reaches more than a week of his thirst strike.

French President Emmanuel Macron said he received assurances from his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah al-Sisi on the health of jailed activist Alaa Abdel Fattah.

Macron and Sisi held talks late Monday on the sidelines of UN climate summit COP27 in Egypt’s Red Sea city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

“I raised the cases of several individual figures” including that of Alaa Abdel Fattah, who is on hunger strike, Macron told reporters.

The French leader said he received assurances from al-Sisi that he was “committed to ensuring that (the) health of Alaa Abdel Fattah is preserved”.

The French Presidency confirmed that Macron demanded the Egyptian president to release the jailed activist.

Alaa Abdel Fattah, holder of British citizenship, was jailed in 2014 for five years on charges of participating in an unauthorized gathering, and in 2019, he was also sentenced to another 5 years over accusations of allegedly spreading false information and joining a terrorist group.

 Abdel Fattah stepped up his hunger strike by refusing water, ratcheting up fears for the life of one of the country’s leading rights activists just as world leaders arrive in Egypt for the start of the COP27 climate summit.

The escalation of Abdel-Fattah’s hunger strike has prompted grave concerns for the prominent human rights activist and writer.

UN Human Rights High Commissioner Volker Türk on Tuesday appealed for Egypt to free a prominent blogger and activist whose life is in imminent danger following a seven-month hunger strike.

Amnesty International chief Agnes Callamard said Sunday that authorities had less than three days to save Abdel Fattah’s life, warning that failure to intervene would overshadow the U.N.’s flagship climate conference.

Earlier,  US Secretary of State Antony J. Blinken spoke with Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry called for the release of all political prisoners in Egyptian prisons.

He also welcome the U.S.-Egypt strategic partnership, which is strengthened by tangible progress on human rights in Egypt.

Along the same line, over a dozen Nobel laureates have published an open letter calling on governments, environmental groups and businesses to call for the release of thousands of political prisoners in Egypt in the run-up to and during the COP27 United Nations Climate Change Conference.

In our turn, we call for shedding light on all political prisoners arbitrarily held in Egyptian prisons and detention centers amid very difficult detention conditions just as Alaa Abdel Fattah.

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