Rishi Sunak has vowed to “raise” the case of imprisoned British citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah with Egypt’s leaders during next week’s Cop27 climate summit.
The Prime Minister wrote to the family of the jailed writer, who is on a hunger and water strike, to tell them he was “totally committed to resolving [his] case” and that British ministers are calling for his release.
Abd El-Fattah, who became a British citizen this year through his mother, has been jailed for most of the past decade and was a key figure in the country’s uprising in 2011.
The writer and activist was jailed for five years last year for “spreading false news”, after he condemned torture methods by the Egyptian state.
The 40-year-old’s supporters say he has been jailed unlawfully due to his opposition to Egypt President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi.
Abd El-Fattah’s family warn that he may die before the end of the Cop27 climate conference in Sharm El Sheikh, after he will begin a water strike today on the first day of the conference.
He has already been on a hunger strike for six months in protest of being placed into solitary confinement.
Sunak said: “I will continue to stress to President Sisi the importance that we attach to the swift resolution of Alaa’s case, and an end to his unacceptable treatment.
“The UK’s attendance at Cop27 is another opportunity to raise your brother’s case with the Egyptian leadership.”
Abd El-Fattah’s sister Sanaa Seif yesterday said she would travel to Sharm El Sheikh to lobby for her brother’s release.
“I want to tell these officials that if you don’t save him, you will have blood on your hands,” she said.
“I want to call on Rishi Sunak to intervene. You’re going there, you’re going to meet with Sisi, you’re going to be in the same country as a British citizen who is dying, and if you don’t show that you care, then that will be interpreted as a green light to kill him. My brother can be saved.”