Accomplished human rights defender and lawyer Ahmed Seif El-Islam passed away on Wednesday afternoon at the age of 63. He had been unconscious for almost two weeks following a cardiac arrest, according to state-owned Al-Ahram.
El-Islam was the former director and cofounder of the Hisham Mubarak Law Centre and once a member of the National Council for Human Rights. He was arrested and tortured by State Security in 1983 for his political work and served five years in prison under the Mubarak regime.
El-Islam, who has taken on many court cases relating to torture and the wide range of human rights issues that face the country, told Amnesty International in 2008 that he saw torture “as a form of cancer that can eat up a country’s youth and stifle its ability to change, criticise, reform, and rebel.”
He is survived by his wife Laila Soueif, a professor at Cairo University also known for her work in the field of human rights and political activism. His three children Alaa Abdel Fattah, Mona Seif, and Sanaa Seif are also human rights defenders. Alaa and Sanaa are currently detained.