Leading Egyptian rights lawyer Seif El-Islam to be buried Thursday

Ahram Online , Thursday 28 Aug 2014

Activists call for thousands to attend the funeral of prominent human rights lawyer Ahmed Seif El-Islam, father of imprisoned Alaa and Sanaa Abdel-Fattah, who died yesterday

Ahmed Seif Al-Islam
Ahmed Seif Al-Islam Hamad (Photo: Al-Ahram)

The funeral of Ahmed Seif El-Islam, a prominent Egyptian human rights lawyer, will be held after El-Asr prayers on Thursday at the Salaheddin mosque in Manial, his family has announced.

He will be buried in a cemetery in Old Cairo.

A memorial service for El-Islam, who died aged 63 on Wednesday from a heart condition, will be held on Saturday evening at Omar Makram mosque in Tahrir Square.

El-Islam had been unconscious in intensive care for nearly two weeks after undergoing open heart surgery.

Activists and political movements, including April 6 Youth Movement, have called for many people to attend the funeral.

El-Islam defended activists arrested during the famous Mahalla labour strike of 6 April 2008.

It is unclear if El-Islam's offspring, Alaa and Sanaa Abdel-Fattah, who are currently in prison, will be permitted to attend the funeral and burial of their father.

Their lawyer, Taher Abu El-Nasser, told Ahram Online that the interior ministry had already accepted the family's request for Alaa and Sanaa to attend their father's memorial service on Saturday.

El-Nasser said he did not know if the ministry had accepted a request by the National Council for Human Rights for them to attend Thursday's funeral.

The Constitution Party and Popular Current movement have called for the interior ministry to allow Alaa and Sanaa to attend the funeral and burial.

On Twitter hundreds of tweeps have supported  the #Let_Alaa_out_to_attend_his_dad_funeral and #Let_Sanaa_out_to_attend_her_dad_funeral hashtags.

Alaa Abdel-Fattah is currently serving a 15-year sentence for organising an unauthorised protest and resisting the authorities over a demonstration against military trials of civilians in November 2013.

His demand for a retrial was accepted and has been adjourned until 10 September.

Alaa was El-Islam's last client.

Sanaa, El-Islam's youngest daughter, is being detained over a demonstration against the protest law in June.

Her trial has been adjourned until 13 September.

Shortly after visiting his father last week, Alaa began a hunger strike. "I will not cooperate with this absurd and unfair justice system in Egypt," he said.

The move led dozens of other detained activists to follow him.

Early Thursday, the Arab Network for Human Rights Information reported that Sanaa had begun a hunger strike after learning of her father's death.  


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