Mona Seif, sister of imprisoned activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, announced on Wednesday the end of her and her mother Laila’s hunger strikes after 76 days.
Laila and Mona began the hunger strike in early September to protest the imprisonment of family members, Sanaa and Alaa.
“The experiment… made me closer to my siblings, and that I’m sharing part of their journey,” Mona said. She also said that the hunger strike made her appreciate the struggle of the “imprisoned brave”.
Hunger strikes in the family began with Abdel Fattah on 19 August, followed by Sanaa 10 days later. The two reportedly remain on hunger strike.
On 26 October, the Cairo Criminal Court sentenced Sanaa Seif and 22 other defendants to three years in prison for violating the Protest Law and using violence with the aim of terrorising citizens.
In June, Abdel Fattah and 24 others were also sentenced in absentia to 15 years imprisonment, given an EGP 100,000 fine, and ordered to be put under police observation after release, on counts of violating the Protest Law. They were arrested one day after the law’s ratification. They were found guilty of acquiring weapons during a protest, illegal assembly, blocking roads, and attacking a police officer and stealing his radio.
The Cairo Appeal Court later released Abdel Fattah on bail on 15 September after the judge stepped down from the case. Only one month later, Abdel Fattah was once again behind bars.
Laila Soueif, mathematics professor at Cairo University and founder of the 9 March Professors’ Movement for Universities Independence, staged a sit-in at the High Court with her daughter Mona on Wednesday, protesting the verdict.
Mona Seif, 28, launched the civil rights campaign “No Military Trials for Civilians”. According to a recent Human Rights Watch report, almost 1,200 civilians have been tried in front of military courts since the 25 January Revolution for regular crimes. Last week 20 civilians were sentenced to prison by a military court over assaulting the military.