Sanaa Seif begins open hunger strike, both siblings pressure gov’t
Sanaa and Mona Seif during the burial - YOUM7/Ahmed Rmadan

CAIRO: The late Ahmed Seif al-Islam’s detained daughter Sanaa Seif announced Thursday an open hunger strike following her father’s death, Sanaa’s sister Mona Seif said in a statement on Facebook Friday.

Mona said her sister decided to start the hunger strike while she was visiting her father along with her detained brother, Alaa Abdel Fatah, on Aug. 17.

“Sanaa told us Thursday after the funeral that she officially began the strike,” Mona said. Sanaa announced her hunger in al-Qanater prison to denounce the protest law and her arrest. She and her colleagues were arrested and tried for violating the protest law at Ithadeya presidential palace.

“I am not here as a lawyer, I am here to express pride of my daughter,” the late Ahmed Seif al-Islam had said while visiting Sanaa when she was arrested, according to Mona’s Facebook status.

Both siblings now are in an open hunger strike; Alaa previously announced starting on Aug. 20, according to a statement by his family on Facebook. “I will not play the role they [security forces] have chosen for me,” he said.

“Sanaa said she is not only concerned for her and Alaa’s freedom but for the freedom of all those politically detained,” Sanaa said, according to Mona. “Even if she earned freedom, she will remain fighting for others.”

Ahmed Seif al-Islam, the late lawyer and renowned human rights activist, passed away at 63 in a special care unit in Qasr el-Aini Hospital Tuesday Aug. 27, after suffering a long-term cardiac illness while his two children were in prison.

Alaa and Sanaa attended their father’s funeral on Thursday after the Ministry of Interior allowed them to attend it and a three-day condolence period, which the family announced in a statement, will start on Aug. 30 at Omar Makram Mosque near Tahrir Square.

Alaa is serving a 15-year prison term for organizing an illegal protest in November 2013. The sentence is being appealed. Sanaa was arrested along with 23 others on June 21, a few days after her brother was sentenced, for violating the protest in demonstrations to free Alaa.

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