Working for Democracy in Egypt
From Human Rights First
Activist Basem Fathy has dedicated his life to promoting political freedom in Egypt. Braving multiple detentions by the Mubarak regime, he co-founded the April 6 Youth Movement, a group of activists who used Facebook and SMS texting to organize protests in 2008 that became a precursor to the uprising this year. When he and his fellow Egyptians made history by occupying Cairo's Tahrir Square in January, Fathy helped coordinate logistics—providing food and tents, shields to protect protesters from attack by security forces, and vinegar to relieve the effects of tear gas. Today, Fathy works in Cairo as a project consultant for international organizations, serves as a board member of the Egyptian Democratic Academy, and is the executive editor-in-chief for an independent radio station.