Home 5 Articles and Reports 5 “PEN” Fights for Writer’s Freedom

“PEN” Fights for Writer’s Freedom

by | Jul 28, 2023 | Articles and Reports, News

PEN International and English PEN have attacked what they call “the persistent failure to secure the release of British-Egyptian writer Alaa Abd El-Fattah by the British government and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, despite their pledge in 2022 to work hard to secure his release”.

Alaa Abd El-Fattah is a British-Egyptian citizen, an award-winning writer and software developer, and an Honorary Member of English PEN. He is serving a five-year prison sentence in Egypt following what PEN calls “a grossly unfair trial before The Emergency State Security Court”.  The sentence, handed down in December 2021, has been widely condemned by leading international human rights organisations, including PEN International, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Human Rights Watch.

PEN argues that despite minimal improvements in his prison conditions since his transfer to a new prison in May 2022, Abd El-Fattah is still denied access to a lawyer and UK consular visits. On 24 August 2022, his family reported that the prison authorities restricted Abd El-Fattah’s access to clean clothing and writing materials. In November, PEN International raised “grave concerns” over Alaa Abd El-Fattah’s health following his decision to escalate his hunger strike to protest his unjust imprisonment.

It concludes: “We urge on the UK Government to do all in their power to provide a consular visit at the earliest possible opportunity and secure the release of British Egyptian writer Alaa Abd El-Fattah.”

 

 

 

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