British-Egyptian citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah, an Honorary Member of English PEN, has spent much of the past decade imprisoned in Egypt on charges related to his writing and activism.
On 14 November 2023, International Counsel acting for Alaa Abd El-Fattah and his family filed a petition requesting urgent action from the United Nations Working Group on Arbitrary Detention (UNWGAD) over his continuing and unjust imprisonment. Alaa Abd El-Fattah and his family are represented by leading barristers Can Yeğinsu and Ian McDonald.
Daniel Gorman, Director of English PEN, stated:
‘Alaa Abd El-Fattah, an Honorary Member of English PEN, has been unjustly and arbitrarily detained for the past four years, after a manifestly unfair trial. We join the international call for the Working Group to consider his case under the Urgent Action procedure and recognise his ongoing imprisonment as arbitrary. We also call for the British Government to do its utmost to secure consular access and his release and for the Egyptian Government to release him immediately.’
Read more about the submission to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention here: https://freealaa.net/unwgad-urgent-appeal
This Saturday, 18 November, Abd El-Fattah will spend yet another birthday imprisoned in Egypt. Please add your voice to the calls for his immediate and unconditional release.
- TAKE ACTION: Raise Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s case with your MP
While the UK Government has stated that it is doing its best to secure Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s release from prison, no concrete progress has been made and he has yet to be granted a consular visit.
We need the UK Government to take action now.
Join the campaign for Alaa Abd El-Fattah by writing to your local MP, urging them to ask Business Questions – oral questions to the Leader of the House – about what is being done to secure his release.
To write to your MP, please visit the website writetothem.com and enter your postcode. A sample letter and suggestions of Business Questions to include in your message are available below.
We’d be grateful if you could let us know once you have written to your MP by emailing [email protected].
I am writing regarding the case of British citizen and leading pro-democracy writer Alaa Abd El-Fattah, who has been imprisoned in Egypt because of his writing and activism intermittently for the past decade. I am concerned that the UK Government appears to have done little to fulfil its obligations towards one of its citizens.
Last year, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak told Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s sister in a letter “we are totally committed to resolving your brother’s case” but nearly a year later, there seems to have been little progress. Not only does he remain behind bars, but he is yet to be granted a consular visit, after two years of requests. This is unacceptable, and the UK Government must act now.
Could you please ask the Leader of the House the Business Question below to support Alaa Abd El-Fattah?
[add your chosen template Business Questions].
-What is the Government doing to secure the release of Alaa Abd El-Fattah, a British-Egyptian writer, from prison in Egypt?
-What representations has the Government made and/or does it intend to make to the Government of Egypt about British citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah?
-What representation has the Government made and/or does it intend to make about the detention of British citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah and other writers, such as Galal al-Behairy, in Egypt; and what assessment have they made of the human rights crisis in Egypt?
-What is the Government doing to hold Egypt accountable for imprisoning British citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah for exercising his right to freedom of expression?
-Will the UK Government commit to provide consular support to Alaa Abd El-Fattah?
-What has the Government done to address the lack of access to British citizen Alaa Abd El-Fattah, detained in Egypt?
-Why does the FCDO travel advice for Egypt not offer any warning about its inability to guarantee consular access to British citizens, particularly dual nationals, in the country?