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Jailed Egyptian rights activist Alaa Abel-Fattah ends his hunger strike, note says

Jailed Egyptian-British activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah said in a note delivered to his family on Tuesday that he has ended his hunger strike. He said he will share more information about his situation with his mother when she comes for her regularly scheduled visit on Thursday.

"Don't worry, I'm OK. Your short letter got through, and I feel better now knowing you're OK," the note, which his family says is written in Abdel-Fattah's handwriting, says. "I'll see you on the visit day and tell you everything then and we'll get back to long letters after the visit."

"The important thing is I want to celebrate my birthday with you on Thursday, I haven't celebrated for a long time, and want to celebrate with my cellmates, so bring a cake, normal provisions, I've broken my strike," he said. "I'll explain everything on Thursday."

Abdel-Fattah, a dual Egyptian-British citizen who was an important figure in the pro-democracy "Arab Spring" movement more than a decade ago, has been imprisoned in Egypt for virtually the entire tenure of Egypt's current authoritarian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, since 2014, and most of the last decade. His family and human rights groups call charges against him spurious.

He has been on limited hunger strike, eating only 100 calories per day, for over 200 days. At the start of the COP27 climate conference in Egypt, he announced he would give up all food and water to end his time in prison, either by securing his release or ending his life.

Abdel-Fattah has been denied visits in prison from his lawyers and anyone from the British government. From the start of the climate conference, he was denied visits by his family.

Abdel-Fattah's sister, fellow-activist Sanaa Seif, traveled from England to the COP27 conference to campaign for his release. Seif has also been imprisoned multiple times in Egypt, and is concerned for her own safety.

Late last week, after not receiving any letters from Abdel-Fattah, his family was told by officials that he had received medical intervention.

Fear for hunger-striking Egyptian activist 02:21

"We're counting down the days until Thursday now to find out what's been going on inside prison with Alaa," Sanaa Seif said in a statement after receiving the latest letter.

"I feel cautiously relieved now knowing that at least he's not on hunger strike but my heart won't really be settled until Thursday when my mother and sister see him with their own eyes," Abdel-Fattah's other sister, Mona Seif, said.

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