Alaa Abd El Fattah, one of Egypt’s most high profile political activists, has been imprisoned again.
In March 2019 he completed a five year prison sentence for organising a protest (which he didn't organise). But when he was released, he still had to serve a further sentence: 5 years of sleeping every night in his local police station - harsh probation conditions have been imposed on many political prisoners arrested since 2013.
Alaa left the station at 6am on the morning of September 29th and was grabbed by National Security Agency officers. He has been held since then, having been interrogated once and then given 15 days administrative detention - a tactic the state routinely uses and can be renewed indefinitely.
What is being called ‘the September Wave’ has seen at least 4,000 - including at least 111 children. This is in response to a series of videos posted on Facebook in which a building contractor detailed high levels of corruption around the Sisi regime. Some small protests spontaneously began and the regime has responded with its most severe crackdown since the Rabaa massacre of 2013.
One of Alaa’s lawyers, Mohamed el-Baker was arrested by State Security while he was attending Alaa’s interrogation. El-Baker has been charged in the same case as Alaa.
His sister, Sanaa Seif, has also now been arrested.
This website was built during Alaa's previous imprisonment.
It is with sadness now that we, his friends and family, update it.
It gathers all of Alaa's major writings, key essays written about him, international advocacy judgements found in support of him, press clippings and photographs. At its centre is a Timeline that gathers all these materials together.
Alaa Abd El-Fattah is an Egyptian blogger, software developer and a political activist.
The persecution of Alaa Abd El Fattah is a recurring theme in Egypt. He was jailed under the Mubarak regime for 45 days and again by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011. He remained in jail for almost two months, missing the birth of his son, Khalid. He also faced trumped up charges designed to intimidate protest under the Morsi government in 2013 along with popular satirist Bassem Youssef.
He was arrested in November 2013, three months after Abdel-Fattah el Sisi's coup d'etat and after a trial that lasted over a year, was sentenced to five years imprisonment, charged with the organisation of a protest.
Alaa first came to prominence for co-founding, along with his wife Manal Hassan, the Egyptian blog aggregator Manalaa and Omraneya, the first Arabic blog aggregators that did not restrict inclusion based on the content of the blog. In 2005 the Manalaa blog won the Special Reporters Without Borders Award in Deutsche Welle's Best of Blogs competition. Alaa was a central figure within the blogging movement of the early 2000s, then a vanguard of free speech and radical discourse that would become one of the catalysts of the 2011 revolution.
During the revolution Alaa rose to international prominence through the combination of his online presence, on-the-ground activism, incisive analysis and uncompromising politics. Elevated to almost symbolic status as representing the new generation of revolutionary youth Alaa was at the vanguard of several political currents within the revolution, and became a prinicpal target of the old regime's attempts to re-assert dominance.
He was imprisoned for two months by the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces in 2011, but his release was forced by public pressure - a gauge of the strength of the revolutionary currents at the time.
After the coup d'etat of 2013, Alaa was among principle targets of the counter-revolution and has, unfortunately, been held in the regime's prisons since then. The bulk of material on this website concerns this period.