CAIRO: The Ministry of Interior has approved a request by imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah’s lawyers to release him along with his sister Sanaa Seif from jail so that they may attend their father’s memorial service.
Their father, veteran lawyer and human rights defender Ahmed Seif al-Islam Abdel 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.
Youm7 reported that the service will be held Saturday at Omar Makram Mosque at 7:30 p.m. after sunset prayers.
Anonymous sources said that both prison administrations, Tora and Al-Qanater, are raising their security levels in preparation for transporting the siblings to the mosque. The two were arrested in different cases for participating in demonstrations that were made illegal under the controversial 2013 Protest Law.
The Interior Ministry approved previously on Thursday another request concerning the attendance of both siblings at their father’s funeral at Al-Manial.
The younger Abdel Fattah has made statements saying his father’s deteriorating health was caused by his children’s imprisonment.
“My father’s memorial service is on Saturday after sunset prayers. He died as a martyr, and you all know who killed him,” a video recorded by Al-Masry Al-Youm and published on YouTube showed Abdel Fattah saying after the funeral.
When Abdel Fattah saw his father unconscious he decided to start a hunger strike Monday, Aug. 18, according to a statement released by his family.
“It’s 4 p.m.; I’ve celebrated with my cellmates the last meal—as I decided to start a hunger strike after the moment I saw my father struggling with death. I’m starting this strike to get my freedom. My body’s health doesn’t really matter as long as I’m under this unjust authority,” he wrote in an article published by Mada Masr Tuesday.