Event: Abu Zaabal Prison Massacre
Occupation: Director and photographer
Age: 27


Mohamed Abdel Magid Al-Deeb

The director Mohamed Al-Deeb was one of the founders of the Association of the Artists of the Revolution which was set up in Tahrir Square right after the 25th of January revolution, in an effort to document all the events of the revolution. Two years before the revolution, he started an artists’ group with his fellow artists. The motto of the group was: “Useful art that represents our society, without degradation or excessiveness,” which was the slogan that appeared in several of his 25 docu-drama films.

Mohamed Al-Shaer, Mohamed Al-Deeb’s friend, said to the Anadolu Agency after his murder: “I had a friendly relationship with the late director Mohamed Al-Deeb since 2005, but our relationship had gotten a lot stronger during the sit-in at Tahrir Square during the 25th of January Revolution and then at the sit-in at Rabaa Al-Adawya. All throughout, Al-Deeb was always busy thinking about the necessity of creating sophisticated works of art from the sit-ins to translate the thoughts and experiences of the protesters as it was the only weapon he knew how to use as a director.”

Mohamed Al-Deeb was not part of any political party, terminating his membership with the Muslim Brotherhood three years before he was murdered. In the later stages of his life, he was against the politics of the Brotherhood and saw them as responsible for how bad things have gotten in the country. He didn’t participate in the 30th of June protests for the sake of defending the gains of the 25th of January Revolution.

On the humanitarian level, he was involved in a lot of charity work. He went to Halaib and Shalatin on the Egypt-Sudan border to set up charity exhibitions there. He used to help those who were just starting out in the artistic fields without expecting any financial gain for his efforts. He used to hope that they, in turn, would help others and that their works would be one of purpose that would benefit society.

He was characterized by his fun and kind nature, and his love for life and his homeland. On the Friday of Rage, he was hit with a gas bomb to his head, but that did not dissuade him. He dreamed of being an owner of a massive art institution that produced purposeful and constructive art that would oppose everything that is negative and destructive—an institution that reinforces in the minds of people everything that is valuable and useful.

Three hours prior to the crackdown he wrote on his Facebook profile: “Lord, grant me martyrdom. Please pray for me that I will die a martyr.” When the crackdown began, Mohamed Al-Deeb attempted to document it but the police forces arrested him.

He was led, along with others, to the Cairo Stadium, where the police forces began distributing them among different police stations. Mohamed was sent to the Heliopolis police station. His brother, Ahmed Al-Deeb had gone to see him, he saw him from a distance signaling that he was okay. His brother went to see him three days after the crackdown, but was not permitted to see him.

On the morning of the Massacre of Abu Zaabal, Muhammad was being transferred by car to the Abu Zaabal prison, where he was later murdered according to the testimonies of witnesses.

When Mohamed’s family went to take his body, signs of brutal torture were evident. According to the testimony of Elham Al-Jame, a member of the Association of the Artists of the Revolution: marks indicating electrocution, ironing and dragging over the floor, along with signs of extinguishing cigarettes on his body and being beaten with a sharp object that led to a massive wound on his head were observed. His father didn’t know about his murder until five months after the incident since he was also arrested during Mohamed’s detainment, just a day before his murder.