The European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE/NGL) coalition stripped Egyptian activist and blogger Alaa Abdel Fattah’s nomination for the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought, established by the European Parliament in 1988 in honor former Soviet scientist and dissident Andrei Sakharov, after learning of his violent anti-Israel rants on Twitter.
“It emerges that one of the bloggers we proposed, Alaa Abdel Fattah, who was a victim of repression in Egypt and jailed several times, called for the murder ‘of a critical number of Israelis’ in a tweet in 2012. We did not avail of this information when we put forward his candidacy,” GUE/NGL Group President Gabi Zimmer said in a statement.
Fattah, who was released from jail in Egypt last month, was one of the leading activists of the 2011 protests that led to the downfall of former Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. He has been known for his anti-Israel incitement, previously tweeting, “Dear Zionists, please don’t ever talk to me, I’m a violent person who advocated the killing of all Zionists including civilians.”
“We cannot and will not tolerate such behavior,” Zimmer said. “This call goes against all our principles as well as the criteria for nomination for the Sakharov Prize. Our group has always favored debate and political confrontation between peoples, including the Israeli people.”