CAIRO (Reuters) - Leading Egyptian activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, jailed for violating a strict protest law, was moved to a prison hospital this week after more than two months on hunger strike, a relative told Reuters on Wednesday.
The 33-year-old blogger and software engineer was transferred to a prison hospital on Monday morning after his blood sugar level plunged, according to his cousin, Omar Robert Hamilton.
Wednesday marked the 80th day of Fattah’s hunger strike, Hamilton said. He is one of several jailed activists to have mounted hunger strikes in the past year to protest their imprisonment.
Fattah has been in and out of jail since 2011 on various charges. He was re-arrested most recently in October along with 20 other people pending their retrial on charges of breaking a law that bans protests without a police permit
The law, enacted in 2013, has curtailed the street demonstrations that have been a regular feature of the turbulent years since Hosni Mubarak’s ouster in a popular uprising in 2011.
President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi said on Tuesday Egyptians have the right to demonstrate but cautioned that protesting now could cause more harm to the country’s battered economy.
Fattah’s lawyers and relatives say the charges are politically motivated and baseless.
Fattah is one of a number of well-known activists from the 2011 uprising that have been jailed since the army overthrow elected Islamist President Mohamed Mursi in mid-2013. His 20-year-old sister Sanaa is serving a two-year sentence for violating the protest law.
Reporting By Maggie Fick