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Egyptian activist Alaa Abdelfattah denied Ramadan meals with family

The prominent activist was released from jail in March but is serving five additional years of parole
Alaa Abdelfattah (L) is one of the youth icons of the 2011 revolution against Hosni Mubarak (AFP)
By MEE staff in London

The family of Egyptian activist Alaa Abdelfattah has denounced the “unlawful” conditions of his parole as authorities have barred him from having the two main meals of the holy month of Ramadan with his family.

The outspoken activist and software developer was released from Tora prison in March after five years of detention on charges of violating the protest law.

Abdelfattah is currently serving five more years of parole, whereby he is required to spend his entire night (from 6pm to 6am) at a police station, as stipulated by law 99/1945.

The practice, called probationary period, is designed to deter potential criminal behaviour after release.

Political prisoners have complained that the practice has been used unjustly against them.

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“The parole system, as it is applied in Egypt today, deprives me of my right to communicate with my family, and my right to gain knowledge and to work”, Abdelfattah said in April.

“It forces me to sleep in fragile, unhealthy and unsafe conditions, let alone the constant threat of renewing detention,” he said after submitting a complaint to the state’s official human rights body, the National Council for Human Rights.

Translation: "I cannot stand the probation situation. I don't understand how I will live with it for five years."

Alaa’s sister, Mona Seif, suggested in one of her tweets that her brother is singled out in Ramadan as other police stations where prisoners are serving probation periods have adjusted the evening detention hours to start from 8pm, following the Ramadan sunset meal of Iftar.  

She said the Dokki police station where her brother is serving probation is the only one that still has the 6pm-6am detention hours unchanged.

“[All detainees] at the police station are punished for the sake of one person,” she wrote on Twitter

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