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Sherif Gaber

Sherif Gaber (full name Sherif Gaber Abdelazim Bakr; Arabic: شريف جابر عبد العظيم بكر‎‎[1] pronounced [ʃɪˈɾiːf ˈɡæːbeɾ ʕæbdelʕɑˈzˤiːm bɑkɾ]) born c. 1993, is an Egyptian political activist and blogger who was arrested on October 27, 2013 for professing atheism, contempt of religion relating to activities on campus and atheist statements online.[2]



In April 2013 Gaber was in his second semester at the Suez Canal University in Ismailia, Egypt. He was enrolled in a science class with a professor named Elsaid Farrag. In one of the classes, Professor Farrag was giving a lecture on homosexuality and stated: “Homosexuality is a sin. Gays and lesbians shall be crucified in the middle of the streets, stoned, and burned to death!" Gaber suggested looking at homosexuality from a scientific perspective since it was a science class, but in response Farrag questioned Gaber's religious beliefs. Gaber responded that science suggested that homosexuality is neither a choice nor unnatural. Farrag then proceeded to ban him from ever participating in class again, threatened to extend his time at school to eight years, and threatened to give him a failing grade in every course. He continued to publicly harass him for the remaining two hours of class.[3]

The following week in class, Farrag with other teachers, one of them called Ramy Mohammad Husien were holding a printed version of everything he had posted to his Facebook page that they felt went against Islam or was in support of free speech. They read the posts aloud to the class and ended by telling Gaber, along with the entire class, that he would take the papers over to the public prosecutor to have him imprisoned. Gaber received an F in that class in June 2013, even though he got an A+ in the first term "Jan. 2013"[4]

Arrest and court caseEdit

At 3:00 a.m. on October 27, 2013, three armored state security cars and an army vehicle arrived at Gaber's house. A number of state security agents entered his apartment, conducted a search, and confiscated all of his property, including but not limited to his school papers and documents, books, his PC, mobile phone, and his money. After that they threw him in the car and took him to jail.[5]

On December 3, 2013, the court agreed to release Gaber after paying 7500 LE (2500 for the "Contempt of Religion" charge and 5000 for "spreading immoral values and abnormal thoughts that provoke and disturb the public peace and the national security of Egypt.") He was released the next day, but his case was ongoing.[6]

On February 16, 2015 Gaber was found guilty and sentenced to one year in jail. He was allowed to appeal if he paid 1,000 LE,[7][8] but instead Gaber went into hiding.[9]


Gaber's whereabouts are unknown, but in July 2015 the blog Patheos reported that Gaber had been releasing pro-science and pro-human rights videos on YouTube.[10]


  1. ^ "القبض على طالب جامعي يدعو إلى الإلحاد في العريش". Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015. 
  2. ^ "Sherif Gaber, Egyptian Student, Sentenced To Prison For Atheist Facebook Posts". 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  3. ^ "Egyptian student given prison sentence for atheist Facebook posts". Daily News Egypt. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  4. ^ "Judge orders arrest of a student who declared atheism". Mada Masr. 2014-09-21. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  5. ^ "Full details in the case of Sharif Jaber - التفاصل الكاملة في قضية شريف جابر | ALBER SABER ألبير صابر". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  6. ^ "جنح ثالث الإسماعيلية تؤجل نظر قضية الطالب "شريف جابر" المتهم بازدراء الأديان لجلسة 8 يونيو | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  7. ^ "الحبس سنة لطالب جامعي ملحد لإدانته بازدراء الإسلام على "فيس بوك" :: بوابة الشروق :: نسخة الموبايل". Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  8. ^ "حكم جديد يجرم الحق في حرية التعبير .. حبس الطالب شريف جابر سنة وكفالة ألف جنيه للتعبير عن رأيه | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-03-03. 
  9. ^ Nader, Emir (30 May 2015). "'I live to face things, not run from them': Political repression and asylum in Egypt". Middle East Eye. Retrieved 18 September 2015. 
  10. ^ Mehta, Hemant (15 July 2015). "Egyptian Atheist, Sentenced to Prison but Hiding from Police, is Now Releasing Pro-Science YouTube Videos". Retrieved 17 September 2015. 

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