Alaa Abdel Fattah, a courageous blogger, human rights activist based in Egypt, and long-term friend of Access Now, is being held in a high-security prison with no clear charges or access to basic rights. He entered a hunger strike on April 12 to bring attention to his current condition.
Egyptian authorities have already kept Alaa in prison beyond the constitutional limit on detention without judicial review, and are continuing to hold him while legal proceedings are suspended during COVID-19.
Throughout the current health crisis, Alaa has been isolated from his family, unable to communicate with them or check on their wellbeing. He has also been denied access to his lawyers and basic amenities. Moreover, he has been unable to obtain crucial updates on health, safety, the status of the prison, or their handling of the facility during this pandemic.
Alaa is a symbol of liberation and key leader of the 2011 Egyptian uprising, and a friend of the global digital rights community. You can watch him address the very first RightsCon in 2011 here, and read his letter to that same community written from behind bars in 2017.
Only six months after serving a five-year prison sentence for organizing a 2013 protest in response to a presidential speech labeling human rights activists as traitors, Alaa was arrested again on September 27, 2019. He was snatched from outside the police station where local authorities forced him to sleep each night.
Along with our partners, Access Now has constantly and repeatedly called on Egyptian authorities to release Alaa and the many other human rights defenders being wrongfully detained around the world. In Egypt alone, there are over 60,000 political prisoners who lack basic rights and access to health care, especially during this health crisis.
Amplified by the extraordinary circumstances the world is currently living through, Alaa needs support now more than ever.
Raise your voice and urge the Egyptian authorities to immediately release Alaa and all the detained activists and human rights defenders that were held for simply exercising their fundamental rights of protest, and freedom of expression.