Time is running out for the British father on hunger strike in an Egyptian prison

Alaa Abdel-Fattah has not been allowed to see the sun, to exercise, to have a book or to know the time since 2019, writes Bel Trew

<p>His basic demand is his right under Egyptian law: a visit from British embassy officials</p>

His basic demand is his right under Egyptian law: a visit from British embassy officials

Time is running out. Alaa Abdel Fattah, 40, a British citizen, veteran human rights defender, and a father, is six weeks into a full and punishing hunger strike in Cairo’s notorious Tora Prison.

His basic demand is his right under Egyptian law: a visit from British embassy officials. If something doesn’t change, he might die. There is only so much a body and mind can take. Water and rehydration salts cannot sustain a person for much longer.

In a message sent to The Independent from prison, the British-Egyptian software developer jailed for what human rights groups say are trumped-up charges of spreading false information vowed to keep going. He repeated this during his latest prison visit on Thursday, the last one he will have for a month. Since the prison authorities have now banned him from penning letters, he bid goodbye to his loved ones as they fear he may die during the enforced period of silence. His mother, Laila Soueif, a London-born mathematics professor, said after the visit on Thursday he had lost a lot of weight and was weak.

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