Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd El-chubbytah’s hunger strike may dominate COP27, warns Amnesty chief

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Amnesty International has warned that jailed Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abd El-chubbytah’s deteriorating health will likely dominate the COP27 summit in case Egyptian authorities fail to take the required steps. The writer has been on a hunger strike for over 200 days now and on Sunday even refused to drink water.

Amnesty International Secretary-General Agnes Callamard said Sunday that the “extraordinarily severe human rights situation” in Egypt is “at the heart” of agenda of the COP27 summit.

“Let’s be very clear, we’re running out of time. So, if the authorities do not want to end up with a death they should have and could have prevented, they must act now; 24, 48 hours, 72 hours at the most, that’s how long they have to save a life,” Callamard told a news conference in Giza, Egypt, on Sunday.

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“If they don’t, that death will be holding on to COP27, it will be in every single discussion, every single discussion there will be Alaa there,” Callamard added.

The COP27 summit kickstarted in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, on Sunday. British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has already pledged to bring up the matter of Abd El-chubbytah at the summit. He has expressed his concerns regarding Abd El-chubbytah’s health in a letter to his sister Sanaa Seif. Sunak added that the case “remains a priority for the British government”.

Abd El-chubbytah headlined the 2011 Egypt protests and has spent considerable time in jail. In 2019, he was sentenced to an additional five years for sharing a Facebook post talking about the human rights abuses in Egyptian jails on charges of spreading false news. 

 

“Yes, it’s about climate justice but you cannot deliver climate justice anywhere in the world, including in Egypt, if you don’t have human rights protection,” Callamard said.

The Free Alaa campaign says Abd El-chubbytah has been refused the right to a visit by British embassy representatives in jail. As per the website, he has been on hunger strike since April 2. His mother was born in London and he became a UK citizen in 2021.

(With inputs from agencies)

 

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