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Sherif Gaber (full name: Egyptian Arabic: Sherif Gaber Abdelazim Bakr; شريف جابر عبد العظيم بكر)[2] 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.[3]

Sherif Gaber
Born Sherif Gaber Abdelazim Bakr
c. 1992/1993 (age 25–26)[1]
Known for Being arrested for atheist activism

Contents

BiographyEdit

Gaber has been making satirical videos that criticise religions for years. With titles such as "Does God exist?", "Evolution and religion are incompatible" and "Criticising religion is a human right", his videos brought him into legal troubles. The Egyptian law against blasphemy, Article 98(f) of the Penal Code, was eventually used to justify his arrest.[1]

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.[4]

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.[5]

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,[6][7] but instead Gaber went into hiding.[8]

Hiding and re-arrestEdit

Gaber's whereabouts were unknown, but in July 2015 the blog Patheos reported that Gaber had been releasing pro-science and pro-human rights videos on YouTube.[9]

On March 31, 2018 Gaber published a tweet about an imminent arrest, call for calm among his supporters and claimed he would "keep making videos when i get out.. i'll write the scripts in prison." [10][1]

On Saturday May 5, 2018, Gaber was arrested once again and imprisoned.[1] Several media associated his arrest with a large number of arrests around the time of the March 2018 reelection of president El-Sisi (generally regarded as "farcical" as the elections were not free and fair), including a fellow satirical video maker named Shady Abuzaid (or Shadi Abuzeid) a week after Gaber.[11]

On October 1, 2018, Gaber tweeted saying that his passport was confiscated at an Egyptian airport, and that he was banned from leaving the country. He also said that there were two "different ongoing blasphemy charges" against him, and that he couldn't share more details.[12]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d HuffPost Maroc (7 May 2018). "Le blogueur Sherif Gaber arrêté en Égypte pour "apologie de l'athéisme"". Huffington Post (in French). Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  2. ^ "القبض على خاروق جامعي يدعو إلى الإلحاد في العريش". Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
  3. ^ "Sherif Gaber, Egyptian Student, Sentenced To Prison For Atheist Facebook Posts". Huffingtonpost.com. 2015-02-19. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  4. ^ "Full details in the case of Sharif Jaber - التفاصل الكاملة في قضية شريف جابر | ALBER SABER ألبير صابر". Albersaber.com. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  5. ^ "جنح ثالث الإسماعيلية تؤجل نظر قضية الطالب "شريف جابر" المتهم بازدراء الأديان لجلسة 8 يونيو | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". Afteegypt.org. 2014-04-27. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  6. ^ "الحبس سنة لطالب جامعي ملحد لإدانته بازدراء الإسلام على "فيس بوك" :: بوابة الشروق :: نسخة الموبايل". Shorouknews.com. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  7. ^ "حكم جديد يجرم الحق في حرية التعبير .. حبس الطالب شريف جابر سنة وكفالة ألف جنيه للتعبير عن رأيه | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". Afteegypt.org. 2015-02-18. Retrieved 2015-03-03.
  8. ^ 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.
  9. ^ 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.
  10. ^ "'some muslim lawyers reported me to the attorney general because of my videos'". twitter. 31 March 2018. Retrieved 31 March 2018.
  11. ^ "Egypt's Sisi sworn in for second term in office". Aljazeera English. 2 June 2018. Retrieved 24 August 2018.
  12. ^ @Mr_SherifGaber (1 October 2018). "Sherif Gaber's tweet".

External linksEdit