CAIRO: Jailed sibling activists Alaa Abd el-Fattah and Sanaa Seif will be released for three days to attend their father’s funeral and see family, informed sources in the prison service told Youm7.
Veteran lawyer and human rights defender Ahmed Seif al-Islam Abd el-Fattah died Wednesday at 63 of a cardiac illness. Alaa and Sanaa were escorted by security to visit him after he had fallen into a coma.
When Abdel Fattah saw his father unconscious, he decided to go on a hunger strike Aug. 18, according to a statement released by his family.
“I will not play the role they [security forces] have chosen for me,” Abd el-Fattah said in the statement.
“Abd el-Fattah informed us of his decision, and it was so hard to bear, but we understood his feeling of oppression eventually and his need involve sincerity in the absurd and tragic situation he lives. Abd el-Fattah’s decision matches the sensitivity of the situation,” the statement read.
The prominent activist is serving a 15-year prison term for organizing an illegal protest in November 2013. The sentence is being appealed.
Several other jailed activists and journalists followed Abd el-Fattah’s hunger strike to pressure for their release and the revocation of the protest law.
In June, Seif was arrested along with 23 others a few days after her brother was sentenced. They have been in pre-trial detention for protesting illegally in demand for the annulment of the protest law, under which thousands are detained.