Activist stages single-person demonstration in Tahrir Square

Ahram Online , Monday 25 Jan 2016

The 21-year-old Sanaa Seif stood in Tahrir while wearing a shirt with the words 'It is still the January revolution'

Sana Seif

A prominent Egyptian activist garnered attention Monday by staging a single-person demonstration in Cairo's Tahrir Square for the fifth anniversary of the 25 January 2011 revolution.

The 21-year-old Sanaa Seif, who hails from a family known for leftist activism, stood in Tahrir while wearing a shirt with the words "It is still the January revolution."

"Since 2011, I have walked in a rally from Mostafa Mahmoud Square to Tahrir Square on 25 January," she said on her Facebook account. "The last time I did it was in 2014, and despite the security crackdown this year I decided to stick to my routine and do it again."

"I am alone but I am sure that next year thousands will return to walk again from Mostafa Mahmoud to Tahrir Square," she said.  

Egypt's major non-Islamist political parties and movements declared they would not organise any street activity to commemorate the revolution this year over security concerns.

However, a few dozen supporters of President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi organised a small protest in Tahrir Square to salute the Egyptian police, which celebrates its national day on 25 January.

Seif was sentenced to three years in jail for illegal protest in 2014 but was released in September 2015 after receiving a presidential pardon.

She is the younger sister of prominent activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who is currently serving a five-year sentence for illegal protesting.  

In its special coverage for the anniversary of the revolution, Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper published a series of interviews with members of the Seif family, including one with Abdel-Fattah from prison.

Abdel-Fattah said in the interview, conducted via mail, that he has lost hope and intends to leave Egypt after his release.

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