Mother and sister of Sanaa Seif, Alaa Abdel Fattah on hunger strike
Alaa Abdel-Fattah hugs his mother, Laila Soueif during his father's memorial service - AP/Amr Nabil

CAIRO: Political activist Mona Seif, the sister of imprisoned hunger-striking political activists Sanaa Seif and Alaa Abdel Fattah, announced Thursday on Facebook she and her mother—activist Laila Soueif—had joined with their imprisoned family members in hunger-striking for their release.

“My mum and I started an open hunger strike; this decision was taken when Alaa announced his hunger strike and Sanaa joined him, but it was postponed as it was a priority to care for my dad,” Mona wrote.

Their father, political activist and human rights lawyer Ahmed Sief el-Eslam, passed away on Aug. 27 after suffering a long-term cardiac illness. His son Alaa started his hunger strike on Aug. 18 after he was allowed to visit his father when he was in the intensive care unit of Qasr al-Aini Hospital.

Alaa and Sanaa were originally imprisoned under the controversial 2013 Protest Law.

“We decided to start the hunger strike protesting the Protest Law, which has deprived many families from their sons and daughters. We will continue the strike until Alaa and Sanaa, along with their comrades, can be released,” Mona further wrote on Faceook.

She added that she and her mother sent Attorney General Hisham Barakat a notification of the hunger strike Thursday and they expect to receive a reply Saturday.

Alaa was sentenced in absentia to 15 years in prison and fined 100,000 EGP ($14,000) in June for demonstrating against the Protest Law outside the Shura Council. Alaa tried to attend the trial, but the court session was held a few hours before its scheduled time and once the verdict was issued, he was arrested.

Sanaa was detained on June 21 for protesting without permission from authorities in a protest organized in solidarity with her brother.

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