Human Rights Monitor offers its deep condolences to the family of the lawyer and pioneering human rights defender Mr Ahmed Seif El-Islam who died on Wednesday after a long struggle with illness.
Mr Seif El-Islam died at the age of 63 after working sincerely for human rights for long decades. Mr Seif El-Islam, who established Hisham Mubarak Law Center on 1999 to expose human rights violations and eliminate torture, spent five years in prison in a case filed against him for having expressed his opinions, during which he was severely tortured in prison. He was arrested twice during Sadat’s era and twice during Mubarak’s era. Mr Seif El-Islam defended the rights of victims for three decades, and continued to do so during Sis’s era, the worst period of human rights violations in Egypt’s history. He defended the rights of all, without discrimination or prejudice, even if their political opinions were against his.
He gained his bachelor degree in law while he was imprisoned, after having completed his bachelors in political science.
His entire family including his wife and three children worked tirelessly for human rights and on eliminating torture and military trials for civilians. All his children were imprisoned during Mubarak and Sisi era, and he stood in courts to defend them like he defended hundred others. Currently two of his children, Sanaa and Alaa are in prison. They received the news of their father's departure while in prison.
Mona was born while her father Mr Seif El-Islam was in Prison. Likewise, Alaa, only son of Mr Seif El-Islam had his only child Khaled born while he was in prison.
Soon before his death, Mr Seif El-Islam, during a conference stated that he had hoped to inherit the new generation freedom and democracy, but instead he inherited his children prison cells.
The loss for victims and human rights defenders is great, however Mr Seif El-Islam will always remain as a raw model for all defenders and his work will speak for him forever.