While in Egypt for COP27, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak expressed “hope and trust” that he would be able to obtain the release of campaigner and British-Egyptian Alaa Abdel Fattah.
Sanaa Seif assured the BBC that he “can do it if it is really a priority” while speaking from Sharm el-Sheikh, where the climate meeting is taking place.
The 40-year-old Abdel Fattah has been on a hunger strike for over a year.
His family has reported that he has stopped drinking water and could pass away within a few days.
In a meeting with Egyptian President Abdul Fattah al-Sisi, Mr. Sunak expressed his “grave concern” over the case, according to a spokeswoman for him in Downing Street.
“The prime minister said he hoped to see this resolved as soon as possible and would continue to press for progress,” said a spokesman. Ahead of the trip, Mr Sunak told Abdel Fattah’s family in a letter that his government was “deeply committed to doing everything
Abdel Fattah, who is a leading pro-democracy activist and blogger, first rose to prominence during the 2011 uprising in Egypt that forced long-time President Hosni Mubarak to resign.
Since Mr Sisi came to power in 2014 after leading the military’s overthrow of Mubarak’s democratically elected successor, Abdel Fattah has spent most of the time in prison or police detention.
Last year, he was convicted of “spreading false news” in social media posts and sentenced to five years in prison. Human rights groups had called the charge spurious and the trial a sham.
In April, his family said he had begun a hunger strike to protest against his unjust imprisonment, cruel detention conditions and denial of British consular visits. He consumed only water and salt solution initially, then allowed himself a maximum of 100 calories a day.
Last week, he told relatives that he would drink only water until Sunday, when COP27 started, and would then stop doing even that.
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