Egypt activist’s suicide grips social media

Fellow activists suggest security measures targeting youth is a factor in her depression and suicide.

El-Mahdy was mourned by fellow political activists who shared her frustration at limited political reform [Al Jazeera]

News of an Egyptian female human rights defender committing suicide has made the rounds on social media, especially among young activists who supported the revolution of 2011 and have now become victims of oppression in their country.

Zainab El Mahdy, who was in her early twenties, allegedly hung herself after a phase of severe depression stoked by the situation in Egypt, activists and local media said on Wednesday. Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the reports. 

El Mahdy, a graduate of Cairo’s Azhar University that is witnessing months of anti-government protests marred with violence and the detention of thousands of students, was reportedly among the thousands of young Egyptians who took part in the 18-day protests of 2011.


Many of Morsi’s young supporters have felt isolated from the political process. Despite promises by President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for young people to engage in politics, it’s believed the government security forces are cracking down on any opposition to his government. 

The April 6th Movement made a statement on its Facebook page late Thursday urging “2011 youth” not to succumb to depression.

“Each one of you in Zeinab’s place shares her dreams of a modern, free country that respects people’s lives and honours their freedom and dignity.. Each one of you who is depressed and is struggling with helplessness and hopelessness like Zeinab did: You must not forget, that …. your life is the most precious thing for us,” the statement said. 

Source: Al Jazeera