Human rights lawyer
The experience of torture as a political prisoner in Egypt inspired Ahmed Seif to become a leading human rights lawyer defending leftists, Islamists, and atheists.
Ahmed Seif was himself imprisoned at least four times, twice during the rule of President Anwar el-Sadat and twice under President Hosni Mubarak, who was ousted in 2011. In the 1980s, he was jailed for five years for joining a left-wing group. He endured beatings and electrical shocks, and he came to detest torture as 'a form of cancer that can eat up a country's youth and stifle its ability to change, criticize, reform and rebel,' he said.
He responded by studying law while in prison. After his release, he apprenticed with a law firm and started volunteering to do legal work for causes he supported.
Born Ahmed Seif al-Islam Hamad in the delta province of Beheira in Egypt. He earned degrees in politics and economics and in law at Cairo University.
He died of complications from heart surgery. Crowds leaving the cemetery after his funeral held up banners calling him 'the sword of the people' and 'the exemplary fighter.'
Compiled by:M. Nauman Khan