Alaa Abd el-Fattah's family has focused attention on the continued imprisonment of the Egyptian activist, in the hope that world leaders attending COP27 in Sharm el-Sheikh will push for his release [Khaled Desouki/AFP]
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In Solidarity with Egyptian Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah: From TIMEP’s Fellows

As COP27 takes place, we—a group of TIMEP current and former fellows—are calling for the immediate release of Alaa Abdel Fattah, an Egyptian blogger, software developer, activist, and political thinker. From Tunisia, Morocco, Sudan, and Libya to Syria, Lebanon, and the diaspora, we stand in solidarity with Alaa and all 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt, currently bearing the brunt of a despotic regime’s practices.

To us, Alaa represents a symbol of resistance and survival and, most importantly, of hope in the possibility of change. His ideas on protest, freedom, and justice resonate with each of us across our different work areas. The Egyptian regime’s persistent aggression on Alaa is a testament to the impending and omnipresent threats that activists in our region face daily. It also indicates how authoritarian regimes view activists such as Alaa across the MENA region—as a direct threat to their power for simply demanding justice and freedom. It also serves as a reminder for the drive behind our commitment to our work on the rule of law, accountability, freedom of speech, social and economic justice, fighting corruption, advocating for internet freedom, and seeking out environmental justice for all, as well as other policy areas. We cannot imagine a world without Alaa whose life was dedicated to transformative justice.

While global pressure is being exerted, online and offline, amid COP27, we fear this might not be enough. Alaa has long made it a point to shine a light on those who have been forcibly erased and silenced under oppressive structures in Egypt and in the region. Amplifying his voice and that of his loved ones today, when they need it most, is an utmost necessity. 

There is no better time for local, regional, and global researchers and activists to agree on one clear message: None of what is done on the ground will matter until Alaa and all political prisoners in Egypt are freed and provided access to a dignified and decent life among their friends and loved ones. We are not free until Alaa and all prisoners of conscience are free.

 

“We were, then we were defeated, and meaning was defeated with us. But we have not perished yet, and meaning has not been killed. Perhaps our defeat was inevitable, but the current chaos that is sweeping the world will sooner or later give birth to a new world, a world that will—of course—be ruled and managed by the victors. 

But nothing will constrain the strong, nor shape the margins of freedom and justice, nor define spaces of beauty and possibilities for a common life except the weak, who clung to their defense of meaning, even after their defeat.”

—Alaa Abdel Fattah, You Have Not Yet Been Defeated

 

Signed by:

Hussein Cheaito, Lebanon

Rima Sghaier, Tunisia and Italy

Hamid Khalafallah, Sudan

Aymen Bessalah, Tunisia

Mona Zeineddine, Lebanon 

Hussein Baoumi, Egypt

Muhsen Almustafa, Syria

Noura Ghazi, Syria

Achref Chibani, Tunisia

Timothy E Kaldas, Egypt

Aymen Abderrahmen, Tunisia and USA

Mohamed Mandour, Egypt 

Habiba Abdelaal, Egypt

Nada Ahmed, Egypt

Veronica Bellintani, Italy and Syria

Malak Altaeb, Libya and France

Suhail al-Ghazi, Syria 

Solafa Magdy, Egypt and France

Kamal Chomani, Germany

Chaima Bouhlel, Tunisia 

Samia Errazzouki, Morocco

Bassem Sabry Fellow*, Egypt 

Bassem Sabry Fellow*, Egypt

Nonresident Fellow*, Syria 

Nonresident Fellow*, Egypt

Nonresident Fellow*, Lebanon

 

*Please note that due to security concerns, some fellows have signed anonymously and are designated as Bassem Sabry or Nonresident Fellows with their country of origin detailed.