Human Rights First Remembers Egyptian Human Rights Lawyer, Ahmed Seif el-Islam
New York City – Following the death of prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif el-Islam, Human Rights First’s Neil Hicks issued the following statement:
“We are saddened to hear of the death of Ahmed Seif, one of the pioneers of the human rights movement in Egypt. On his shoulders, generations of activists have become involved in the struggle for human rights in Egypt. Ahmed Seif’s legacy, and the achievement of which he was most proud, rests in the courageous, idealistic young people who have been at the forefront of popular protests for human dignity in Egypt in recent years. Ahmed Seif’s legacy will live on in the struggle for justice and human dignity in Egypt and around the world.”
Seif spent five years in prison between 1983-88 for his non-violent political activities. He emerged from prison determined to oppose torture and to work for human rights and human dignity in Egypt, and became a leader of the then newly formed Egyptian Organization for Human Rights and expanded his own law practice in the defense of victims of human rights violations. In 1999 following the death of his colleague, defense lawyer Hisham Mubarak, he became the director of the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, one of Egypt’s leading human rights organizations.
Seif passed away today at the age of 63 following a long illness. Two of Ahmed Seif’s children, Alaa Abdel Fattah and Sanaa Abdel Fattah, are currently serving jail terms for allegedly violating Egypt’s draconian anti-protest law.