Movement Calling for Jailed Activists’ Release Announces Gradual Hunger Strike

The Freedom for the Brave, a movement calling for the release of those detained pending politically-motivated charges, announced on Sunday a gradual hunger strike campaign.

The movement described hunger strikes as “the only way” to show solidarity with detainees and support their “legitimate” demands.

They called for the release of all those detained on background of the protest law, issued by former interim President Adli Mansour in November to regulate peaceful assembly. The law has long been the epicentre of wide criticism by domestic and international human rights organisations which say it violates international standards for peaceful protests.

“We can only say have had enough of the ruling authority’s dictatorial practices,” read a statement released by the movement during a Sunday press conference. “We have had enough of the policy of gagging mouths and crushing those different [from the mainstream].”

The Freedom for the Brave movement’s announcement comes amid an ongoing hunger strike campaign, gaining momentum by the day, with over 100 already on hunger strike inside and outside prisons, according to movement member Ahmed Atef.

Political activists Alaa Abdel Fattah, Ahmed Douma and Sanaa Seif are all in jail for violating the protest law Seif is detained pending trial. The activists, and tens of others, have announced going on hunger strike until their release.

Hunger-strikes have lately become a common tool to protest detention, used by those arrested for political reasons.

Journalist Abdullah al-Shamy maintained a hunger strike for over 100 days before the country’s top prosecutor ordered his release on medical grounds in June. Shamy, and 12 others, were arrested on August 14 during the dispersal of two sit-ins held in support of ousted President Mohamed Mursi.

On Saturday, 25 al-Azhar University students announced going on hunger strike. The students have been in custody since December 2013.

Egyptian-American citizen Mohamed Soltan has been on hunger-strike since January 25 in protest over his detention, maintaining the longest hunger strike among those detained. Soltan was arrested while covering a protest held in support of former President Mohamed Mursi following his ouster in July 2013.

Tens of protesters gathered outside the Press Syndicate in downtown Cairo on August 25 condemning the ongoing detention of Soltan and other hunger-striking activists.

Source : Aswat Masriya