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Anti-Sisi activist facing deportation from Turkey goes on hunger strike

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An Egyptian activist who was recently detained in İstanbul and sent to a repatriation center in eastern Turkey has been on a hunger strike for six days in protest of her detention, the Serbestiyet news website reported.

Ghada Naguib, 51, and a mother of four, was detained in her home in İstanbul’s Başakşehir district on Oct. 1.

The activist, who took part in the pro-democracy movement that removed long-time Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak in 2011 and outspoken critic of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, sought asylum in Turkey in 2015 with her children and husband, Hisham Abdullah, a well-known Egyptian actor.

Professor Berat Özipek, member of an NGO advocating for the rights of refugees, told Serbestiyet that the woman, who is currently held in a repatriation center in Malatya province, refuses to eat in protest of her detention and the alleged maltreatment she has faced following her detention.

Her son, Youssef Hisham, told the Middle East Eye last week that his mother was forcibly detained and said her headscarf was removed inside the police car when she tried to contact the family’s lawyer.

Özipek said Naguib’s family is concerned about her health as she is already suffering from a number of problems.

The professor said if the efforts for normalization between Turkey and Egypt are to continue, this should take place without oppressing the opposition figures who had to flee Egypt due to the coup staged by Sisi and the violation of their rights.

Relations between Turkey and Egypt, which were severed a decade ago when Sisi, then Egypt’s defense minister, ousted Islamist president Mohamed Morsi, an ally of Turkey and part of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, have been on a course of normalization for several years.

Both countries appointed ambassadors for the first time this summer in a decade in the latest sign of warming ties.

Disagreements remain as Turkey is home to many Arab journalists and dissidents like Naguib critical of their governments, in particular Egyptians close to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been outlawed by Cairo.

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