Shura Council defendants announce hunger strike
Courtesy: حازم عبد العظيم
 

Seven of those convicted in the infamous Shura Council case announced an open-ended hunger strike and sit-in at the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR) Sunday, according to the Freedom for the Brave Facebook page.

In a statement issued by those participating in the sit-in, the group vowed to continue their hunger strike until the Protest Law and the verdicts issued under it are annulled and all political prisoners are released.

The group said they launched their hunger strike, “in the pursuit of peaceful resistance to achieve the dreams and ambitions of the Egyptian people,” and against, “the regime’s arbitrary arrests … and physical and emotional torture and the violation of the most basic of human rights.”

“We will not stand silent in the face of ongoing crimes committed against an entire generation that dreams of change,” the statement read.

The group holds members of NCHR responsible for their safety and security.

They join a growing number of prisoners on hunger strike demanding justice. Their demands range from better jail conditions to release.

Last month, activist Alaa Abd El Fattah, among those sentenced to 15 years in the Shura Council case, launched an open-ended hunger strike against his detention.

Abd El Fattah and 24 other activists were arrested on November 26 for participating in a non-violent street protest outside the parliament building in downtown Cairo. After he was released, pending the case, on June 11, a court sentenced Abd El Fattah and the other defendants to 15 years imprisonment in absentia, along with a LE100,000 fine each for violating the Protest Law.

Abd El Fattah was arrested at the court after the verdict was pronounced and a retrial later commenced.

A court session is scheduled for September 10, according to the Freedom for the Brave page.

Activist Ahmed Douma, April 6 Youth Movement co-founder Mohamed Adel, Wael Metwally and Mohamed Abdel Rahman also started a hunger strike in solidarity with Abd El Fattah.

Last week, NCHR representatives paid a visit to hunger-striking inmates at Tora Prison in response to complaints from Douma’s family that his health was in danger. Douma’s wife, Norhan Hefzy, had stated that her husband’s condition was rapidly deteriorating.

The council urged prison authorities to provide Douma with immediate medical attention and transfer him to a hospital so his condition could be monitored.

Douma is serving a three-year sentence for breaking the Protest Law.

Other activists detained and convicted for violating the controversial Protest Law who have launched hunger strikes include Abd El Fattah’s younger sister Sanaa Seif, as well as Mahienour al-Massry, among many others. 

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