“A murdered man guarding his revolution from kidnapping.”Galal Galal El-Behairy
25 May: PEN International raises serious concerns about the health of imprisoned Egyptian poet and lyricist Galal El-Behairy after 80 days on hunger strike. Earlier in May 2023, PEN International received a message from El-Behairy announcing that he will escalate his hunger strike on 1 June 2023, refusing to take fluids, in protest against his continued unjust detention. This follows a message PEN International received from El-Behairy in February, announcing that he would begin a hunger strike on 5 March, the fifth anniversary of his arrest.
Despite fully serving an unjust 3 year sentence by a military court in July 2021, Egyptian prosecutors subsequently brought forth additional fabricated charges against El-Behairy, leading to his continued arbitrary pre-trial detention. El-Behairy’s health has significantly deteriorated due to torture and inhumane detention conditions over five years of imprisonment, and he has reportedly lost considerable weight since he began striking in March 2023.
PEN International believes that El-Behairy is being targeted for his writings, which are critical of the Egyptian authorities. The organisation believes that El-Behairy’s life is at grave risk, and holds the Egyptian authorities responsible for El-Behairy’s physical and psychological health and well-being, and Egypt’s General Prosecutor Hamada El-Sawy, for his unfair imprisonment. PEN International calls on the authorities to immediately and unconditionally release El-Behairy and drop all charges against him, and to ensure that he receives urgent and adequate medical care, pending his release. Continue