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Mona Seif

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Nationality  Egyptian
Name  Mona Seif
Ethnicity  Egyptian
Residence  Cairo, Egypt
Occupation  Human rights activist
Siblings  Alaa Abd El-Fattah
Religion  Muslim

Mona Seif FileMona Seif in Tahrir Squarejpg Wikimedia Commons

Born  March 12, 1986 (age 29) (1986-03-12) Cairo, Egypt
Parent(s)  Ahmed Seif and Laila Soueif
Relatives  Alaa Abd El-Fatah (brother)

Mona seif egyptian activist from inside tahrir square


Mona Seif (Arabic: منى سيف‎‎, [ˈmonæ ˈseːf]) is an Egyptian human rights activist known for her participation in dissident movements during and after the 2011 Egyptian revolution, for her creative use of social media in campaigns, and for her work to end military trials for civilian protesters. She is a biology graduate student, investigating the BRCA1 breast cancer gene.

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Cnn irevolution mona seif


Background

Mona Seif Mona Seif Hans Thoolen on Human Rights Defenders

Seif grew up in a family of activists, and politics was a constant topic of discussion during her childhood. Her father, Ahmed Seif, who died in 2014, was a human rights attorney and opposition leader who spent five years in prison during the Mubarak regime. During his detention, he was tortured. Her mother, Laila Soueif, is also an activist and a mathematics professor. She helped organize demonstrations against the Mubarak regime over the decades before his downfall. Her mother is "known on the streets as brash and courageous, and has on numerous occasions faced down baton-wielding policemen with nothing but her scolding, scathing, booming voice and steely eyes".

Mona Seif Razan Ghazzawi receives award Egyptian women attacked in

Seif's brother Alaa Abd El-Fattah co-created the Egyptian blog aggregator Manalaa and in 2005 began to document abuses by the Mubarak regime. Alaa was arrested at a demonstration in 2006 and imprisoned for 45 days, during which Mona and his wife Manal helped organize an online campaign to free him. Seif's younger sister, Sanaa Seif, has also been an opposition activist and protester.

Mona Seif Front Line Defenders Human Rights Defender at Risk Award

Seif is a graduate student in cancer biology. She is studying the BRCA1 breast cancer gene and its mutation pattern in Egyptian patients. She says she has two full-time careers: one in cancer research, and another in human rights activism.

2011 revolution

Mona Seif Mona Seif Wikiwand

In the year leading up to the revolution Mona became involved in the dissident movement, spreading awareness and attending demonstrations. Between January 25 and February 5, the members of her immediate family and many members of their extended family participated in the Tahrir Square protests. Mona recalls "It was a life-changing moment for most of the people in Tahrir Square. You could see the gunshots at people...".

Post-Mubarak

Seif is a founding member of No to Military Trials for Civilians, a group pushing for the release of those detained during the revolution; and end to trials of civilians by military courts; transfer of all such civilian facing trial to the jurisdiction of civilian courts; and the investigation of torture allegations involving military police. Seif wrote on her blog Ma3t, about the military police during crackdowns on Tahrir protesters, requesting people come forward with their stories.

She has been critical of the action's of Egypt's interim ruling body the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) saying, of the release of protesters without full exoneration: “The fact that they have suspended sentences does not give them the pride they deserve as revolutionaries who did nothing wrong."

Seif estimates that military courts have sentenced 7,000 civilians since former Hosni Mubarak's ouster in February, 2011. She notes that there has been a shift in the SCAF's approach since March and that protesters are now getting suspended sentences rather than the 3-5-year sentences they were previously getting. She speculates that this may be an attempt to stop the regular marches and may also be due to the pressure applied by international human right groups.

She has continued to criticize tactics of the SCAF: "We have evidence that the military right now is targeting protesters. ... They selected known figures of the Tahrir protest. They selected people who were known and they tortured and beat them up...and if you read or listen to the testimonies of those who were released, which are a few, we still have a lot of people detained unconstitutionally. And you see that it's not just that they're getting tortured or beaten up, but there's an element of the Army trying to break the revolutionary spirit."

Part of Seif's project involves asking detainees who have been released to record what happened to them. In some cases she says she has managed to get their testomies immediately after their release and so record bruise marks and burns. It is Seif's opinion that with these cases the only way to fight them is via the internet.

In 2012, she was a finalist for the Front Line Award for Human Rights Defenders at Risk, which ultimately went to Syrian blogger Razan Ghazzawi.

Controversy

When it was announced in April 2013 that Seif was a finalist for the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders presented by Human Rights Watch, both she and HRW were criticised for what some considered taking a firm pro-Palestinian stance. The specific accusations were that she tweeted support for violence in the form of attacks on the Egypt-Israel-Jordan gas pipeline; invasion of the Israeli embassy in Cairo and missile attacks on Israel.

References

Mona Seif Wikipedia