Current Date: 28 Sep, 2023

Protesters gather outside Cop27 to call for more action to save the planet

On Thursday, more than 100 activists staged a loud protest inside the venue of Egypt's UN climate summit, chanting slogans urging more action to save the planet.

The sister of Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian dissident, and current prisoner, was present at the demonstration but did not speak to the press or onlookers.

According to Sanaa Abdel Fattah, a lawyer for Abdel Fattah is still negotiating access to visit him in a prison north of Cairo. Many protest chants referenced her brother's recently released book; You Have Not Yet Been Defeated.

Protesters gather outside Cop27 to call for more action to save the planet

Ana Gabriela Celestial, a Filipina activist, speaks at a protest gathering to demand the release of imprisoned human rights and environmental activists worldwide during Cop27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt.

The small protest came just hours before Abdel Fattah's lawyer announced that Egypt's state prosecutor had permitted him to visit the activist. He stated on Thursday afternoon that he was negotiating access with prison officials.


Egypt effectively banned protests for the majority of the last decade. We are allowing the protest to continue and honored Egypt's repeated pledges at the UN summit to allow peaceful demonstrations.

The protest occurred as the West increased diplomatic pressure on Egypt to release Abdel Fattah. Abdel Fattah, 40, a well-known participant in the 2011 uprising that resulted in longtime President Hosni Mubarak's resignation, began a partial hunger strike in April.

His family claims he refused liquids on Sunday and may have died. According to a statement released late Thursday by Egypt's general prosecution, Abdel Fattah underwent a comprehensive medical examination, including blood tests, and was found to be in good health and won't require hospitalization.

"This suggests that he is unlikely to be on a hunger strike," it said. Protesters on Thursday carried banners in English, French, Arabic, and Spanish that read, "No climate justice without human rights."

The majority of protesters wore white clothing and face masks. "The people united will never be defeated," they chanted as they raised their fists. The National covers the second day of the Cop27 climate summit in Egypt.

"We are here to lift the voices of all climate and human rights defenders," Gina Cortes Valderrama, a well-known Colombian activist, said. "We cannot forget the many, many, many people who have lost their voices," Ms. Valderrama, the rally's first speaker, said.

Sanaa Abdel Fattah has been discussing her brother's situation since arriving in Sharm El Sheikh, a Red Sea resort town where the UN meeting is taking place this week.

This year, Abdel Fattah and his sisters Sanaa and Mona received British citizenship because their mother, Laila Soueif, a mathematics professor, is a native of the nation.

Recently, the presidents of France, the United Kingdom, and Germany claimed to have spoken with Abdel Fattah El Sisi, the president of Egypt, in Sharm El Sheikh about the case and demanded his release.

According to a Facebook post, Abdel Fattah is incarcerated for five years for “spreading false news.” The sister of a jailed Egyptian-British activist hopes to exert pressure on the British Prime Minister at Cop27.

In response to a question about Abdel Fattah, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry stated this week that the dissident was treated following prison regulations and the penal code.

According to him, Abdel Fattah has access to “all necessary care in prison.” The dissident's case was brought up during the UN summit, the minister claimed on Wednesday, to draw attention away from Egypt's "organizational achievement" as host.

Mr. El Sisi recently relaxed some of his anti-dissent laws after taking office in 2014. He has authorized the release of approximately 1,000 government critics who had been held in pre-trial detention and has called for a national dialogue on the country's political future.

He has allowed for measured criticism of his policies at a time when his country's economy is suffering due to the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

Excellence Chukwuma Chukwunaedu

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