Political parties, journalists call for one-day hunger strike
Courtesy: Freedom for the Brave campaign Facebook page
 

Seven political parties have called for a “symbolic” nationwide hunger strike on Saturday September 13 to demand the release of detainees held for violating the Protest Law.

The Dostour, Karama, Social Democratic, Popular Socialist Alliance, Egypt Freedom, Popular Current and Bread and Freedom parties announced they would join a growing hunger strike campaign calling for the release “all political detainees and those arrested for violating the Protest Law,” according to a statement published on the Facebook page of the Freedom for the Brave campaign.

The parties also call for amending the law which “violates basic rights in the constitution and contradicts what the Egyptian people have achieved following the January 25 revolution.”

They urged their members across the country to participate in the one-day hunger strike to reiterate the demands, which they said have been ignored by the Egyptian authorities for several months.

The hunger strike will coincide with a similar action by a group of journalists at the Journalists’ Syndicate on the same day calling for the same demands, according to the statement.

A group of journalists, who refer to themselves as “Journalists against the Protest Law,” also announced a hunger strike and sit-in inside the s​yndicate from September​ 13 to 15, when the second court session for those detained for protesting outside the Shura Council in November is scheduled.

Following the court session, the group will decide whether to continue their​ sit-in and hunger strike through a relay system, whereby continuously members would leave and be replaced by others.

​According to a statement posted on the group’s Facebook page, journalists participating in the sit-in and hunger strike include syndicate members and non-members.

“This is a case involving freedoms, therefore the Journalists’ Syndicate must be the first to defend it in a professional manner,​ since journalists are the ones most affected,” member Mona Sleem posted on the page. “There are those among us who died covering protests and who are dealt with according to the Protest Law, and arrested, detained, beaten or tortured.”

The “We are fed up” movement, which was started by hunger-striking detainees in August, has been gaining momentum as more and more detainees launch hunger strikes to demand justice. Others outside of prisons have joined in solidarity.

The Freedom for the Brave campaign documented a total of 130 people participating in the hunger strike as of September 11, 60 of whom are in detention.

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.

Ahmed Douma, April 6 Youth Movement co-founder Mohamed Adel, Wael Metwally and Mohamed Abdel Rahman, all activists detained for protest-related charges, followed suit.

Seven others convicted with Abd El Fattah also announced an open-ended hunger strike and sit-in at the National Council for Human Rights last week.

Other hunger strikers convicted under the controversial Protest Law include Abd El Fattah’s younger sister Sanaa Seif and human rights lawyer Mahienour al-Massry.

Egyptian-American Mohamed Salah Soltan, son of Muslim Brotherhood leading figure Salah Soltan, has been on hunger strike for the longest period so far, having been refusing food for 224 days now.

The Freedom to the Brave movement called on “advocates and supporters of freedom of expression, democracy and human rights” around the world to join the campaign by going on a one-day hunger strike as well.

The movement urged those participating to announce their hunger strike using the hashtag #EgyHungerStrike, and clarify that they are joining in solidarity with the requests of the Egyptian prisoners and detainees, who are on hunger strike.

 

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