Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah has detention extended

Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah has detention extended, says could commit suicide
2 min read
14 September, 2021
Alaa Abdel Fattah is reportedly to remain locked up for another 45 days while inquiries are made into the activist.
Prominent Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah remains on pre-trial detention [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

Egypt extended the pre-trial imprisonment of a prominent activist by over a month on Monday.

Alaa Abdel Fattah is to remain locked up for another 45 days while inquiries are made, Al-Masry Al-Youm reported.

Egypt uses extension orders to keep activists jailed indefinitely.

This comes after an order by Cairo Criminal Court, which was holding a detention hearing for Abdel Fattah along with others, including human rights lawyer Mohamed El-Baqer.

According to The New Arab's Arabic-language sister service, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, Abdel Fattah faces allegations of "broadcasting, publishing and transmitting false news and statements".

He is also charged with "misusing the social media tool Facebook" and "participating in a terrorist group with knowledge and promoting its objectives".

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Abdel Fattah was detained on 28 September 2019, having been caught up in a wave of arrests that followed rare anti-government demonstrations.

After his arrest, Abdel Fattah told his lawyers he had been blindfolded, kicked, and threatened with never being released, The New Arab reported last April.

Now, his family say they are worried about his safety after he suggested to a judge he could commit suicide unless his conditions in the notorious Tora Prison are not improved and is sent to another jail.

Egyptian academic Laila Soueif and her daughter Mona Seif - Abdel Fattah's sister - went to prison on Tuesday.

Seif said: "We handed a letter addressed to the warden of High Security Prison 2 and a letter for Alaa.

"We are trying to reassure him that we are doing everything in our power, and we ask him to reassure us.

"We received a letter in Alaa's handwriting, promising that he would take care of himself."

Meanwhile, Twitter users have been using the hashtag "Save Alaa" in Arabic and English in support of the activist.

Alaa has been arrested on multiple occasions and was previously jailed for five years for arranging a demonstration deemed to be unlawful by the authorities.