EL CAIRO, 12 Nov. (DPA/EP) -
The president of the United States, Joe Biden, has called for the release of Abdelfatá, a prominent pro-democracy activist who is on an all-out hunger strike in an Egyptian prison, as he stopped drinking water on the start date of COP27 in the city, after several months without eating.
"The United States is requesting his release, we have not done anything about it," US national security adviser Jake Sullivan said Friday after the meeting between Biden and Egyptian President Abdelfatá al Sisi.
Sullivan addressed reporters on Air Force One en route to Asia, telling them that the two leaders "spoke at length on the issue of human rights," adding that Biden "directed his team to work with the Egyptians in a number of specific cases", including this one.
"We've had intensive consultations on that case while we were on the ground in Sharm, and I'm not going to go any further into the record because we're doing everything we can to secure his release as well, like other political prisoners," Sullivan said. . She, although she has acknowledged not having any update on the activist's status at the moment.
On Thursday, the Egyptian Prosecutor General's Office said a medical team had examined Abdelfatá and concluded that he was in good health despite the hunger strike. One claim came hours after the British-Egyptian activist's family said authorities had given him "medical intervention" to keep him alive, and requested that he be transferred to a hospital outside the prison.
However, the Public Ministry insisted that there was no need to transfer him to a hospital. The tests have shown that his blood pressure, pulse, blood sugar level and temperature are "within their normal levels", according to what can be read in the statement collected by DPA, which questions whether he is carrying go on hunger strike.
Abdelfatá, now 40, was sentenced in December to five years in prison for spreading false news, a charge his family dismisses as politically motivated. Since then there have been growing international calls recently for Egypt to release Abdel Fatta, amid warnings that his life is in danger.
Egypt's rights record under President Sisi has drawn international criticism amid a campaign against dissidents.
Al Sisi took office in 2014, a year after the army, then led by him, ousted Islamist President Mohamed Morsi after massive protests against Morsi's divisive government. Since then, thousands of secular and Islamist activists have been arrested.