Activists join international hunger strike campaign

Jihad Abaza
3 Min Read

At least 10 journalists in Egypt and 8 journalists and researchers in Germany announced they would go on hunger strike on 21 and 22 September in solidarity with hunger strikers in Egyptian jails, according to the initiative “Journalists against Protest Law”.

The journalists will also hold a sit-in inside the Journalists Syndicate during the two-day period.

Students at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London also announced they would join the international campaign and go on hunger strike for 1,000 hours in solidarity with Egyptian hunger strikers, according to the Egypt Solidarity Initiative.

The initiative also reported that Alice Finden, a postgraduate Gender and Law student in SOAS, said she will be “taking part in the hunger strike in solidarity with brave Egyptian activists who are in jail because of their protest against the oppressive laws in place in Egypt. Only through solidarity and unity can we spread the word about the restriction on freedoms in Egypt.”

Activists plan to gather outside the SOAS University’s main entrance on 25 September and hold symbolic “empty plates” in a protest to draw attention to the conditions facing Egyptian detainees.

Freedom for the Brave, an Egyptian initiative which works to highlight the problems of Egyptian detainees, reported that Mohamed Youssef, on a hunger strike for longer than 23 days, was taken to the hospital on Sunday. Youssef refrained from drinking water after his trial was postponed to 11 October.

Meanwhile, Amnesty International said in a statement on Friday that Egyptian authorities are putting the life of jailed activist Mohamed Soltan, a dual US-Egyptian national, at grave risk.

Egyptian authorities have been denying Soltan medical care and have placed him in solitary confinement. The activist has been on hunger strike for longer than 235 days and has been detained for longer than a year. Authorities have been continuously delaying his trial.

According to his family, Soltan is at imminent risk of heart failure. His lawyer also says prison administrators only take Soltan to the hospital when he loses consciousness and immediately return him to solitary confinement when he regains it.

Approximately 90 Egyptian prisoners are currently on hunger strike in prisons and police stations across Egypt to demand their freedom. Many of them have been imprisoned without charges, and most have spent months awaiting trials.

More than 200 activists outside prison have joined in on the campaign of solidarity strikes, the Egyptian Solidarity Initiative reported.

Egyptian security forces have detained approximately 41,000 people since 3 July 2013.


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Jihad Abaza is a journalist and photographer based in Cairo. Personal website:
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