#FreeAlaa - You Have Not Yet Been Defeated
In Presence of Sanaa Seif
Lagrange Points Brussels is humbled to host Sanaa Seif, Egyptian filmmaker, producer, political activist, and sister of Alaa Abd El-Fattah, to present Alaa’s book “You Have Not Yet Been Defeated” and shed a light on his unjust imprisonment by the Sisi regime.
Alaa Abd el-Fattah is a British-Egyptian writer, software developer and pro-democracy activist who has been imprisoned in Egypt for eight of the nine years since General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi came to power.
Alaa has been persecuted by the regime of Abdelfattah al-Sisi for his consistent, principled, secular and pro-democratic positions. He is recognised as a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Reporters Sans Frontiers. At least 35 UK parliamentarians have called for his release. He was named in a recent bi-partisan resolution in Congress about press freedoms.
He is currently serving a five year sentence for sharing a Facebook post about rights violations in prison. He was tried in a State Security Emergency Court where the defence was not allowed a copy of the case file, Alaa was not allowed access to his lawyers, and neither the defence nor the prosecution presented their case. The German Ministry of Foreign Affairs publicly criticized the trial before the verdict was issued.
For two and a half years Alaa was kept in terrible conditions, in a cell without windows, never allowed time for exercise, denied access to any reading or writing materials of any kind.
On April 2nd, driven to exhaustion by his ordeal, Alaa began an open-ended hunger strike. On Day 55 of the strike, and with international attention firmly on his case, Alaa was moved to a less severe prison. In Wadi al-Natrun prison he now has access to books, but is kept inside his cell 24 hours a day, with the lights permanently on for a camera to record him. After being given access to books, on Day 55 he switched to a “Gandhi-style” hunger strike, taking 100 calories a day.
On June 21st, the Foreign Secretary, Liz Truss, confirmed to parliament that the UK government is “working very hard to secure Alaa’s release.”
Due to continuing pressure from the campaign, Alaa started getting 30 minutes of exercise a day as of the 22nd of June.
The day of this event, Tuesday 28 June, will be Alaa’s 88th day on hunger strike.
Sanaa Seif is an Egyptian filmmaker, producer and political activist. She has been imprisoned three times under the Sisi regime for her activism. Most recently from the summer of 2020 until December 2021, when she was abducted by security forces after trying to get a letter in to her brother in prison. Hundreds of cultural figures and dozens of institutions campaigned for her release. She was released in December and is now leading the international campaign for her brother’s freedom.
Alaa’s book “You Have Not Yet Been Defeated” will be available at the event.