Case: Alber Saber
Alber Saber is a twenty-seven-year-old prominent activist for secular democracy in Egypt who was arrested during the recent protests in Cairo over a film made in the United States that depicts the Islamic prophet Muhammad in a negative light. Saber, raised in a Coptic Christian household, is an atheist who reportedly operates the Egyptian Atheists page on Facebook and has been a vocal critic of fundamentalist Islam.
On September 14, 2012, a crowd of hundreds formed outside of Saber’s home chanting “Allahu Akbar” and demanding that Saber be arrested for allegedly posting a link to the film, along with other crimes such as insulting religion. When the police arrived, they arrested Saber and put him in jail. Saber was reportedly beaten after a prison guard announced his charges to others in Saber’s cell.
On December 12, 2012, a court sentenced Saber to three years in prison. Upon being released on bail, Saber was able to escape Egypt. His current location is being kept private for fear of vigilante retribution.