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Egypt’s most famous political prisoner, Alaa Abdel-Fattah goes on hunger strike in detention



Egypt’s most famous political prisoner, Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is also a central figure of the 2011 “revolution” has been on hunger strike since Saturday to protest his detention.

Abdel-Fattah’s mother, Laila Soueif made the revelation on Monday while speaking with newsmen. “He refuses to eat because his prison situation must change, he is placed under heavy surveillance, in solitary confinement, he is not allowed books, physical exercise and this prison is known for not respecting any law,” she explained.

In December 2021, a court sentenced Alaa Abdel Fattah to five years in jail with two others receiving four years. Abdel Fattah, his lawyer Mohamed al-Baqer and the blogger Mohamed “Oxygen” Ibrahim were convicted of “broadcasting false news” in their trial in Cairo.

His sister Mona Seif took to Twitter to say that when she visited Abdel Fattah in prison on Monday, where he refused to take the food she had brought him.

Mr. Abdel Fattah has been imprisoned under every president in Egypt in the last decade. His last arrest was in September 2019 after rare protests against current President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi, who has gradually muzzled the population since coming to power in 2013.

According to Amnesty International, Egypt has 60,000 prisoners of conscience, including “peaceful activists, human rights defenders, lawyers, academics and journalists detained solely for exercising their rights to freedom of expression, peaceful assembly, and association.”


Bola Tinubu sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th president



Bola Ahmed Tinubu has been sworn in as Nigeria’s 16th President on Monday, May 29 at Eagle Square in the country’s capital city, Abuja.

Tinubu and his deputy, Kashim Shettima took the oath of office at exactly 10:28 AM and 10:38 AM respectively, administered by the Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Olukayode Ariwoola.

Shortly after being sworn in, the Nigerian President promised to solve terrorism and criminality. “Security shall be top of our administration,” he said, adding that he would reform security architecture, invest more in security personnel, providing better training and equipment.

Additionally, he pledged to transform the economy in order to spur expansion and increase the Gross Domestic Product through job creation, fighting extreme poverty, increasing food production, ensuring the inclusion of women and young people, and combating corruption.

On the controversial subject of fuel subsidy removal, he took a firm position, announcing that the fuel subsidy regime was over. He also stated that, on the monetary policy side, he would work towards a unified foreign exchange system.

He was declared the winner of the presidential elections held on February 25 in which the 36 states of the federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) were won equally by the three leading candidates, twelve states each.

The ceremony was attended by some notable leaders from across the continent. Some of them are South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, the new Prime Minister of Gabon, Billy By-Nze, President of the Republic of Cote D’Ivoire, Alassane Ouattara; Ghana President, Nana Akufo-Addo, and Rwanda President, Paul Kagame.

Tinubu garnered about 37 % of the total votes cast to become president. His experience includes being governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007, and a prior career in finance with top financial companies like Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and GTE Services Corporation. Nigerians will hope he will use his experience to transform the economy which critics believe performed below par under the outgone president, Muhammadu Buhari.

He is faced with the challenges of high foreign debt, unemployment, soaring inflation, unstable multiple exchange rate system, and insecurity, amongst other challenges.

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Embattled Senegalese opposition leader, Sonko arrested



Embattled Senegalese opposition leader, Ousmane Sonko was arrested on Sunday by the police during a march across the country.

Last Friday, Sonko set off on a march back to the country’s capital, Dakar which drew a crowd, mainly of young supporters, and was marred by clashes between youths and security forces, in which one man was killed in the south of the country.

The Minister of Interior, Antoine Diome claimed that the arrest was a result of clashes between Sonko’s supporters and the police during his return to Dakar, in which one man was killed.

Diome stated while addressing the media that the politician should have requested prior authorisation before organising what he called a “freedom caravan”.

He added that “a man was killed in Kolda. Is the state going to stand idly by (…) The answer can only be no”.

“We were, therefore, able to escort the leader of the Pastef (party) (Mr Sonko) to his home (in Dakar) where he was dropped off”, he said.

The politician who is battling with a libel suit against him is also charged with rape and making death threats against an employee of a beauty salon in Dakar but has denied all wrongdoing and insists that his legal travails are politically motivated and aimed at scuttling his bid for the 2024 presidency.

Sonko finished third with 687,523 votes, narrowly behind President Sall and Idrissa Seck in second place in the 2019 presidential election. He is hopeful of another try at the poll in the December 2023 elections.

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