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At COP27, hundreds march behind hunger striker’s sister

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Chants of “free them all” and “no climate justice without human rights” rang out between the halls of COP27 Saturday, in the largest protest since the UN climate summit began.

Jailed Egyptian dissident Alaa Abdel Fattah’s sister, Sanaa Seif, who is at the summit campaigning for her brother’s release, marched in the front line with hundreds behind her.

With them came Seif, who at two press conferences this week was heckled by apparently pro-regime attendees, who called her brother a “criminal,” not a “political prisoner.”

Although demonstrations at COP27 must be approved by organising authorities and should take place only in a special zone, activists behind Saturday’s rally said they got UN permission for their action outside the designated area.

The demonstrators incorporated the words into their demands for indigenous, women’s, labour and disability rights. Multiple speakers have ended their speeches in the conference’s formal proceedings with the same sentence.

She stood silently next to him.

His family say they fear for his life, and have made months-long appeals to the international community, particularly the UK, where Abdel Fattah gained citizenship this year from behind bars through his British-born mother.

The family made an official request for a presidential pardon from President Sisi Friday, Abdel Fattah’s other sister announced.


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