Israa Abdel Fattah

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Esraa Abdel Fattah

Esraa Abdel Fattah (Arabic: إسراء عبد الفتاح, IPA: [ʔesˈɾɑːʔ ʕæbdelfætˈtæːħ, ˈʔesɾɑ-]; also called Facebook Girl);[1][2] born 1978[3][4] is an Egyptian internet activist and blogger.

Esraa worked as a human resources administrator,[1] when she co-founded the April 6 Youth Movement Egypt in 2008, a group that was made to support the workers in El-Mahalla El-Kubra, an industrial town, who were planning to strike on April 6. This group gradually became a popular political movement.[1]

Since October 2019 she has been detained without trial on alleged terrorism charges. In July 2021 she received a Courage Tribute Award from the World Movement for Democracy.[5] She was released from prison on July 17, 2021.[6]

2008 arrest[edit]

She was arrested by Egyptian security in 2008. She drew the attention of few Egyptian newspapers challenging by this the state's censorship policy, turning her into an overnight symbol for resistance and resilience against corruption and injustice.

After two weeks in prison she was released. She made a brief public statement renouncing political activism for good.[7]

2011 Egyptian protest[edit]

Esraa Abdel Fattah reappeared again during the January 2011 nationwide protests in Egypt, that called for the end of Hosni Mubarak's regime. She was active on the internet, and also on the ground, updating Al Jazeera TV with the latest news related to the opposition.


When the state security buildings were attacked in early March, 2011, in the wake of signs of files there being destroyed, a file for Isra’a was found which contained ten pages of documents detailing three years of wiretaps and hacked e-mail, including some focused on her divorce.[2] "The feeling of violation was indescribable," she said.[8]

Her name was put forward for the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize.[9]

On October 31, 2011, she was named a Woman of the Year by "Glamour"[10]

Imprisonment under Sisi regime[edit]

Abdel Fattah worked as reporter and social media coordinator for the news website Tahrir News, which was banned by the Sisi regime. On October 13, 2019 plain-clothes officers arrested Abdel Fattah, allegedly tortured her and she was held in pretrial detention.[11] In August 2020 she was charged with new crimes - membership of a terrorist organization, spreading false news, and committing terrorist crimes - allegedly committed while incarcerated.[12] In July 2021 she received a Courage Tribute Award from the World Movement for Democracy.[5] She was released on July 17, 2021 alongside a number of other prominent journalists and opposition figures, days after US officials voiced fresh concerns after another prominent activist was indicted in Egypt.[13][6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Noam Cohen: In Egypt, Wikipedia is more than hobby. The New York Times, July 21, 2008. Retrieved January 31, 2011.
  2. ^ a b Liam Stack, Neil MacFarquhar (Amr Emam contributed reporting): Egyptians Get View of Extent of Spying. The New York Times, March 9, 2011, p. A10 NY ed. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
  3. ^ MSN news Arabic. "وائل غنيم وإسراء عبدالفتاح و"حركة شباب 6 أبريل" مرشحو "نوبل للسلام"". Archived from the original on 2 November 2011. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  4. ^ "رشيح اسراء عبد الفتاح و6 ابريل ووائل غنيم لجائزة نوبل للسلام". Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  5. ^ a b "Six more people executed in Egypt, bringing total number to 22 in last 10 days". Middle East Observer. July 3, 2021. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "Egyptian activist freed after nearly two years without trial". France 24. 2021-07-18. Retrieved 2021-07-18.
  7. ^ "Israa Abdel Fattah". Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  8. ^ Allam, Hannah and Mohannad Sabry (7 March 2011). "Egypt faces new turmoil: Looted state security files". McClatchy Newspapers. Retrieved 10 March 2011.
  9. ^ "Nobel Peace Prize may recognise Arab Spring". Reuters. 2011-09-27. Archived from the original on 2011-09-29. Retrieved 2011-10-29.
  10. ^ Robbins, Sarah J. (2011-10-31). "Esraa Abdel Fattah, "Facebook Girl": The World-Changer: Inspired". Archived from the original on 2012-02-22. Retrieved 2012-05-30.
  11. ^ "Egyptian journalist Esraa Abdel Fattah arrested on false news charges, allegedly tortured". Committee to Protect Journalists. October 15, 2019. Retrieved July 9, 2021.
  12. ^ "Egypt files new charges against 3 journalists held in pretrial detention since 2019". Committee to Protect Journalists. September 2, 2020. Retrieved July 9, 2020.
  13. ^ "Esraa Abdel Fattah: Egyptian activist released from prison". BBC News. 2021-07-18. Retrieved 2022-11-27.