White House expresses ‘deep concern’ over Alaa Abd el-Fattah | Human Rights News

US says it desires the jailed British-Egyptian activist, who’s starvation and water strike, freed.

The White Home has expressed “deep concern” for jailed British-Egyptian activist Alaa Abd el-Fattah, who’s on a starvation strike and has begun refusing water to coincide with the COP27 local weather summit.

“We’ve been in high-level communication with the Egyptian authorities on this case, now we have deep concern about it, we want to see him freed,” US Nationwide Safety Adviser Jake Sullivan instructed reporters in Washington, DC on Thursday.

Senior United States officers stated on Tuesday that President Joe Biden will increase the problem of human rights throughout his assembly together with his Egyptian counterpart Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

The White Home made this assertion after the activist’s lawyer stated he had been refused entry to Abd el-Fattah, regardless of being authorised for such a go to by the inside ministry.

Concern over Abd el-Fattah’s destiny is rising as he continues to stage a starvation strike to protest his years-long detention by Egyptian authorities on expenses of spreading disinformation.

He had been on a partial starvation strike of 100 energy a day for the previous six months. He stopped all calorie consumption and started refusing water on Sunday, the primary day of the COP27 world local weather summit held on the Egyptian Crimson Sea resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh.

Abd el-Fattah emerged as a number one pro-democracy activist and blogger throughout Egypt’s 2011 standard rebellion that compelled former President Hosni Mubarak from workplace after 30 years in energy.

The 40-year-old has spent many of the previous decade behind bars.

Earlier this week, Volker Turk, the United Nations excessive commissioner for human rights, warned that Abd el-Fattah was in nice hazard and known as for Egypt to right away launch him. “His dry starvation strike places his life at acute danger,” Turk’s spokesperson, Ravina Shamdasani, instructed a information briefing in Geneva.

United Kingdom Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s workplace stated the chief had raised the case of the activist’s detention with President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi throughout a gathering between the pair on Monday on the sidelines of the COP27 summit.

“The prime minister stated he hoped to see this resolved as quickly as doable and would proceed to press for progress,” Sunak’s workplace stated in a press release.

In the meantime, Abd el-Fattah’s household stated they’ve been instructed by jail authorities the activist is “underneath medical intervention”, probably which means he’s being force-fed – an act tantamount to torture.

Abd el-Fattah’s mom, Laila Soueif, travelled on Thursday to Wadi el-Natroun jail the place he’s being held, roughly 100km (62 miles) north of Cairo.

There she was knowledgeable “medical intervention was taken … with the information of judicial entities”, his sister, Mona Seif, wrote on Twitter.

The character of the intervention was not identified however the household has expressed fears jail officers would force-feed Abd el-Fattah.

His sister additionally disputed a declare by the Egyptian prosecutor that the Abd el-Fattah was in “good well being”.

Late on Thursday, the Egyptian prosecutor contended that “all his important indicators… are regular,” and that he “is in good well being and doesn’t should be transferred to hospital”.

“Lie!”, Mona Seif wrote on Fb, including that the authorities had been forcibly intervening to “deny” his starvation strike “in order that he received’t die”.

Middle East round-up: Alaa Abd el-Fattah, Egypt and COP27 | News

Right here’s a round-up of Al Jazeera’s Center East protection this week.

Alaa Abd el-Fattah calls for his launch in Egypt, a rocket assault on a Syrian IDP camp, and a household accusing Sudan’s police of killing their son. Right here’s your round-up, written by Abubakr Al-Shamahi, Al Jazeera Digital’s Center East and North Africa editor.

Internet hosting the COP27 local weather convention was purported to be a possibility for the Egyptian authorities to indicate a decent face to the world, one that will perhaps assist eclipse the headlines of current years about massacres, mass trials, financial crises and political repression. However with world leaders in attendance — together with UAE President Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak — the Egyptians have as an alternative created a ready-made present to spotlight the 1000’s of political prisoners at the moment behind bars.

A big a part of that has been all the way down to Alaa Abd el-Fattah and his household. He’s an activist, with twin Egyptian and British citizenship, identified for his crucial position throughout the 2011 revolution. He’s been on a starvation strike to protest towards his imprisonment. However on Sunday, simply as COP27 started, he additionally stopped consuming water. His household at the moment are extremely apprehensive, and are calling for the UK to safe his instant launch.

Abd el-Fattah’s sister, Mona Seif, advised Al Jazeera’s podcast, The Take, that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi doesn’t need Alaa out of jail for so long as he’s in energy. However the strain is ramping up. The UN’s rights chief has stated that the activist’s life is in nice hazard, and the case has change into a serious focus for the worldwide media in attendance on the convention.

Rocket assault hits Syrian camp for displaced folks

Syria has largely slipped from the headlines, and whereas the entrance strains have been comparatively quiet during the last two years or so, dying it appears is rarely far-off. On Sunday, authorities forces fired 30 rockets on the Maram camp for displaced folks, positioned in opposition-held Idlib province, killing 9 folks and injuring 25.

The assault was the newest violation of a March 2020 truce between Russia (which helps the Syrian authorities) and Turkey (which helps the opposition). Proper now, although, a peace deal doesn’t look even remotely potential any time quickly.

Police accused of brutality in Sudan

On October 11, Mudasser Kamal’s automobile broke down. The police stopped, to not assist him, however to arrest him. Why that occurred, his household doesn’t know. They believe it’s as a result of he was a Sudanese-Ethiopian, and due to this fact represented a possibility for the police to extort somebody with international ties, and cash.

However the subsequent factor his household knew, Kamal was useless. They’ve accused the police of being accountable, and rights teams suppose he’s simply the newest sufferer of a tradition of impunity that prevails among the many police, who’re immune from felony prosecution. Learn Mat Nashed’s report from Khartoum on the household’s seek for justice.

And now for one thing completely different

Cricket isn’t a sport folks normally affiliate with the Center East. And but, in a single nook of the Shatila refugee camp in Beirut, Syrian kids have taken up the sport with a ardour. And, as this story from Laure Delacloche tells us, the game has helped them deal with their unstable surroundings.

In Temporary

Turkey calls for Sweden tackle “terrorist” threats earlier than permitting it to hitch NATO – MSF requires Western international locations to repatriate residents held in Syria’s Al-Hol camp as a consequence of rampant violence and exploitation – US support employee shot useless in Baghdad – Households of Bahraini prisoners stage protests throughout Pope Francis’ go to to the dominion – Iran’s foreign money plunges to historic low throughout protests – Iran confirms drone gross sales to Russia – Soccer is for everybody, says Qatari minister in response to World Cup critics – Israeli fighter jets hit Gaza Strip in first assault since August – Human Rights Watch criticises new Tunisian electoral regulation that eliminates gender parity.

A ‘fanatical’ new Israeli authorities

Marwan Bishara is sure to upset a number of folks with this opinion piece. In mild of the involvement of far-right, ultranationalists within the new Israeli authorities, Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst says that Israel has “given start to a doubtlessly extra excessive kind of ‘Jewish state’ akin to a extra subtle and fashionable model of the ‘Islamic state’”. The principle distinction, he provides, is that Israel has nuclear weapons.

Quote of the Week

“[The interrogator] stated I’ve interrogated main political folks for a lifetime, however my most tough interrogations had been of a number of hundred folks arrested on the streets. Neither may I perceive what they had been saying, nor did they perceive what I’m saying,” – Iran’s tourism and tradition minister, Ezzatollah Zarghami, on the difficulties interrogators face with youngsters arrested throughout the nation’s ongoing protest motion.

‘One of our own’: Australia plans referendum on monarchy | Politics News

Melbourne, Australia – The current dying of Queen Elizabeth II has reignited a simmering republican debate in Australia, the place the UK’s monarch is head of state, with Anthony Albanese’s authorities planning to place the difficulty to a vote.

Already dedicated to a referendum for a constitutionally enshrined Indigenous ‘Voice to Parliament’, the federal government plans to carry the same vote to check Australians’ urge for food for a republic.

Assistant Minister for the Republic of Australia, Matt Thistlethwaite, advised Al Jazeera that whereas “the precedence for this authorities is the Voice to Parliament, the following pure development for Australia is look to have certainly one of our personal as a head of state and we’d search to try this in a second time period if we’re profitable with the Voice within the first time period.”

“Australians have at all times been prepared to look to methods to enhance our system of presidency and enhance our nation and our nation,” he mentioned.

“This is a chance for us to construct a brand new system to pick our head of state and on the identical time enhance the rights of residents within the selections that now we have but in addition strengthen the democracy now we have.”

With an Indigenous historical past stretching again greater than 60,000 years, the continent now referred to as Australia was colonised in 1788 and, whereas politically unbiased, has remained a part of the British monarchy.

Backs of two rows of soldiers, with Albanese and Hurley standing in the middle, in front.
The UK monarch is represented in Australia by the governor-general, at present David Hurley (left) who has principally ceremonial powers [File: Mick Tsikas/Pool via AFP]

Beneath the present system, the monarch is represented in Australia by the governor-general who performs a largely ceremonial position.

Nevertheless, governor-generals retain constitutional and statutory powers, swearing in ministers and appearing because the commander-in-chief of Australia’s Defence Forces.

Additionally they have the ability to dissolve parliament and sack the prime minister, most controversially performed in 1975 when Gough Whitlam was eliminated.

The dying of Queen Elizabeth in September got here 4 months after Labor, lengthy supporters of the republican motion, have been elected to energy in Canberra.

“The Queen’s passing supplies us now with a possibility to debate what comes subsequent for Australia,” Thistlethwaite advised Al Jazeera.

“Australia is now a mature and unbiased nation. We make our personal choices about how we govern ourselves, our financial relationship is predominantly linked to the Asia-Pacific area, our safety relationship relies on the ANZUS alliance. We aren’t British any extra.”

‘100%’ for Australia

The queen reigned for 70 years and was a continuing presence for Australians, most of whom have been born whereas she was on the throne.

However her dying has sparked debate about the way forward for the monarchy in Australian public and political life – there has even been a backlash towards King Charles III routinely changing the queen on Australia’s five-dollar financial institution notes.

Australians have supported changing her portrait with a wide range of Australian folks and animals, with assist for outstanding Indigenous Australians corresponding to lately deceased Indigenous actor Jack Charles.

Regardless of the renewed debate, polls stay unclear whether or not assist for a republic would see a profitable referendum, with a current Guardian ballot displaying fewer than half of these surveyed assist a republic.

Protesters in Melbourne march with a giant banner in the colours of the Aboriginal flag reading 'Abolish the monarchy, sovereignty never ceded, land back, stop black deaths in custody'
Protests accompanied the queen’s funeral in Australia, which was declared a public vacation, however the stage of assist for the nation changing into a republic is unclear [Ali MC/Al Jazeera]

In 1999, a referendum was held wherein Australians have been requested to resolve between two totally different republican fashions, but the referendum didn’t win adequate assist and the thought of a republic was largely scrapped.

Sandy Biar, director of the Australian Republican Motion, mentioned the 1999 referendum was unsuccessful as a result of “the proposal that was put ahead in 1999 was developed by a small group irrespective of what Australians needed”.

Nevertheless, he believes with a greater training marketing campaign and widespread session, a referendum would achieve success.

“As soon as folks have a higher stage of understanding about how these points of our authorities work, then they’re much more capable of have interaction in a dialog about potential modifications to that than they’re now,” he advised Al Jazeera.

Biar additionally argued that together with having an Australian as a head of state, there could be financial and political advantages from the republican mannequin.

“Proper now our head of state represents the UK after they journey round on these type of commerce journeys and delegations,” he mentioned.

“We should always have an Australian head of state who stands up for Australia 100% of the time and who champions Australia’s pursuits.”

The Australian Republic Motion lately launched a proposed mannequin for the way the republic would work.

Named the Australian Selection, the mannequin proposes Australia’s parliaments nominate candidates for Head of State, who could be put to a nationwide poll of all Australian voters.

The Head of State could be elected for a five-year time period and be answerable for appointing a first-rate minister however would haven’t any particular person authority in relation to the setting of presidency coverage, day-to-day governance or passing of legal guidelines.

However some have dismissed the proposal, together with Former Prime Minister and republican campaigner Paul Keating who was reported saying the nation could be higher off remaining a constitutional monarchy than experimenting with a “US-style” presidency.

Writing in The Dialog, Professorial Fellow Dennis Altman from La Trobe College mentioned it was not clear how turning Australia right into a republic would profit Australians.

“Turning into a republic would basically be a symbolic, if necessary act … however it’s exhausting to see what successfully would change,” he wrote.

“Monarchists will retort that we have already got an efficient head of state with the governor-general, who for all sensible functions workouts the powers granted to the monarch.”

A black and white photo showing Torres Strait Islanders standing in a line as Queen Elizabeth walks past during a 1954 visit to Australia
Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, travelled to Australia quickly after she turned queen and Australia’s head of state [File: AP Photo]

Those that assist retaining the UK monarch say the system has served Australia properly.

Eric Abetz, the spokesperson for the Australian Monarchist League, says one of many key advantages of retaining the monarchy is that the top of state – being the queen’s or king’s consultant – is faraway from day-to-day politics.

“The monarchy supplies a head of state who’s above politics and the day-to-day reduce and thrust,” he mentioned.

“The chief of our armed forces is the governor-general – a impartial individual – fairly than a political individual. It diffuses energy inside the physique politic. The large argument needs to be how will being a republic improve our democracy, improve the physique politic, improve the lifestyle for Australians?”

Time for ‘Australian period’

Whereas assist for the monarchy could stay excessive for a lot of Australians, Indigenous teams reacted strongly to the queen’s dying and the widespread, relentless protection of her life and funeral.

In capital cities corresponding to Melbourne and Sydney, protests have been held on the day of the funeral, declared a public vacation and a “day of mourning” by Albanese.

Satirically, Indigenous teams have been calling for their very own recognised “day of mourning” for many years to acknowledge the influence of colonisation, calls which have gone unheeded.

Indigenous teams such because the Warriors of the Aboriginal Resistance say the unresolved difficulty of a treaty with Indigenous folks ought to be the precedence for the Australian authorities.

“We don’t wish to be part of the Stolen(widespread)Wealth – we by no means have, and we are going to proceed to combat towards all it stands for and its ongoing colonial regime which continues to use, oppress and kills our folks,” mentioned the group in a media launch.

“Utilizing the Queen’s dying to strengthen the monarchy’s energy is out of contact, disrespectful and is totally at odds with the Treaty course of.”

Auatralian PM Anthony Albanese signing a book in front of a picture of the queen with two Aboriginal men standing in the foreground
If the Voice to Parliament is handed efficiently, a referendum on the monarchy may chart a brand new path for Australia [File: AFP]

In an acknowledgement of the necessity to discover a method ahead in resolving Australia’s colonial previous, the federal government has dedicated to holding the Indigenous Voice to Parliament referendum as a precedence over the republic.

“The precedence for this authorities is the Voice to Parliament. That’s Australia’s nice unfinished enterprise,” Thistlethwaite advised Al Jazeera.

Regardless of Indigenous politicians remaining divided over the proposed Voice – and public apathy in direction of a republic – Thistlethwaite stays optimistic the federal government may efficiently chart a brand new course in Australian political historical past.

“It’s about modernising the Australian democracy,” he mentioned. “We expect that the precise time is now on condition that the Elizabethan period is over. It’s now time for the Australian period.”