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Detained 6 April members go on hunger strike

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NGOs also to hold protest against detention of journalist in Washington DC

6 April held symbolic protest in front of the Press Syndicate earlier this month  (Photo by Ali Omar/DNE)

6 April held symbolic protest in front of the Press Syndicate earlier this month
(Photo by Ali Omar/DNE)

Two 6 April activists being held in Abu Zaabal Prison have begun a hunger strike, the group announced Sunday.

The movement said that Sayyed Al-Masri and Ahmed Zyada’s strike comes in light of its attempts to “bring down” the Protest Law.

In a statement, 6 April said that the strike is a reaction to “the return to military fascism”, the military’s interference in politics and the Ministry of Interior’s use of violence, random arrests, and torture of prisoners.

The group said the move was also driven by the restriction of freedoms and violating of rights provided by the Egyptian constitution, as well as issuing the unconstitutional protest law, said the statement. Forcing confessions from detainees in court was also mentioned.

The statement said that detainees from different political affiliations in Abu Zaabal Prison are participating in the strike.

The group called for the annulment of the Protest Law and the release of those detained for breaking it, an end to government interference in the judiciary, and an end to military council’s interfering in politics. The military should, 6 April said, return to its role of protecting the nation from external threats and “demolishing real terrorism, not peaceful protests.”

A protest is being organised for another detainee on hunger strike. Activist group CODEPINK announced that they, Nonviolence International, and Egyptian Americans for Democracy and Human Rights will hold a protest in front of the Egyptian Embassy in Washington DC on Monday requesting the release of journalist Mohammed Sultan.

Monday marked the 85th day of Sultan’s hunger strike. In a statement, CODEPINK said that Sultan has been detained for more than 8 months.

Sultan, an American citizen, was arrested a few days after he was shot in the arm while assisting journalists during their coverage of the political demonstration protesting the military dispersal of the pro-Morsi sit-ins on 14 August 2013. He was working as a citizen journalist, assisting English speaking media correspondents with coverage of the protests in Rabaa. His trial has been continuously postponed with no certain date for him to go to court, asserted the statement.

“A 26-year-old American man is dying right now because he stood up for the democratically elected government in Egypt,” says Medea Benjamin, CODEPINK co-founder.

The statement said that Sultan’s life is at risk. With the strike, his health is rapidly deteriorating as Sultan had previous health problems for which he was being treated in the United States.

CODEPINK is a women-initiated peace and social justice movement with the mission “to end US-funded wars and occupations”.

About the author

Aya Nader

Follow her on Twitter @AyaNaderM


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