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Egyptian authorities medically intervene on hunger striking activist

Egyptian authorities said on Thursday they have performed a “medical intervention” on jailed pro-democracy activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike. File Photo by Alaa Abd el-Fattah/Wikimedia Commons
Egyptian authorities said on Thursday they have performed a “medical intervention” on jailed pro-democracy activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike. File Photo by Alaa Abd el-Fattah/Wikimedia Commons

Nov. 10 (UPI) -- Egyptian authorities said on Thursday they have performed a "medical intervention" on jailed pro-democracy activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who has been on a hunger strike.

The British-Egyptian activist's family confirmed the news, after being told by prison authorities.

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Fattah's mother Laila Soueif said the procedure happened "with the knowledge of a judicial authority."

Fattah, 40, had been on a hunger strike in protest of his years-long detention in Egypt. He is being held on charges of spreading "false news."

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Fattah stopped drinking water on Sunday to mark the COP27 climate summit in the popular resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt.

His plight has become symbolic of the larger 60,000 political prisoners human rights groups estimate are being held in that country.

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak met Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi at the conference on Monday and raised the case of Fattah's case, "stressing the U.K. Government's deep concern on this issue."

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"The Prime Minister said he hoped to see this resolved as soon as possible and would continue to press for progress," according to a government statement.

After three days with no news, his family demanded on Wednesday that authorities prove Fattah was still alive, expressing concerns that they might be force-feeding him or putting him on intravenous drips against his will.

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Fattah was a key figure in the Egyptian uprising of 2011.

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He has been detained multiple times since 2013 for violating a law banning street protests. He was released in 2019 under the condition that he spend at least 12 hours every day sleeping inside his local police station.

Six months later he was rearrested and in December 2021, sentenced to another five-year term on charges of spreading false news.

Human rights groups have called his case a reprisal for his activism and role in the uprising.

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