Sherif Gaber Abdelazim Bakr
c. 1992/1993 (age 26–27)
|Known for||Being arrested for atheist activism|
Sherif Gaber (full name: Egyptian Arabic: Sherif Gaber Abdelazim Bakr; شريف جابر عبد العظيم بكر) 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.
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.
Arrest and court case
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.
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.
Hiding and re-arrest
Gaber's whereabouts were unknown, but Gaber was still releasing pro-science and pro-human rights videos on YouTube.
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."
On Saturday May 5, 2018, Gaber was arrested once again and imprisoned. Several media associated his arrest with a large number of arrests around the time of the March 2018 reelection of president El-Sisi, including a fellow satirical video maker named Shady Abuzaid (or Shadi Abuzeid) a week after Gaber.
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. As of October 12, 2018, the total number of felony charges against him, each one of them punishable up to 15 years in Egyptian prison, amounted to five "ranging from blasphemy, insulting Islam, contempt of religion, supporting homosexuality, shaking the peace of the society and 'religious extremism'".
- HuffPost Maroc (May 7, 2018). "Le blogueur Sherif Gaber arrêté en Égypte pour "apologie de l'athéisme"". Huffington Post (in French). Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- "القبض على خاروق جامعي يدعو إلى الإلحاد في العريش". Archived from the original on April 17, 2015. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- "Sherif Gaber, Egyptian Student, Sentenced To Prison For Atheist Facebook Posts". Huffingtonpost.com. February 19, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "Full details in the case of Sharif Jaber - التفاصل الكاملة في قضية شريف جابر | ALBER SABER ألبير صابر". Albersaber.com. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "جنح ثالث الإسماعيلية تؤجل نظر قضية الطالب "شريف جابر" المتهم بازدراء الأديان لجلسة 8 يونيو | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". Afteegypt.org. April 27, 2014. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "الحبس سنة لطالب جامعي ملحد لإدانته بازدراء الإسلام على "فيس بوك" :: بوابة الشروق :: نسخة الموبايل". Shorouknews.com. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- "حكم جديد يجرم الحق في حرية التعبير .. حبس الطالب شريف جابر سنة وكفالة ألف جنيه للتعبير عن رأيه | مؤسسة حرية الفكر والتعبير". Afteegypt.org. February 18, 2015. Retrieved March 3, 2015.
- Nader, Emir (May 30, 2015). "'I live to face things, not run from them': Political repression and asylum in Egypt". Middle East Eye. Retrieved September 18, 2015.
- Mehta, Hemant (July 15, 2015). "Egyptian Atheist, Sentenced to Prison but Hiding from Police, is Now Releasing Pro-Science YouTube Videos". Retrieved September 17, 2015.
- "'some muslim lawyers reported me to the attorney general because of my videos'". twitter. March 31, 2018. Retrieved March 31, 2018.
- "Egypt's Sisi sworn in for second term in office". Aljazeera English. June 2, 2018. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- @Mr_SherifGaber (October 1, 2018). "Sherif Gaber's tweet".
- @Mr_SherifGaber (October 12, 2018). "Sherif Gaber's tweet".