Editor's note: This post contains graphic language. Discretion is advised.
An Egyptian activist who has in the past expressed sympathy for Palestinian attacks on Israel and who has stated a desire for "martyrdom" is one of three finalists being considered for the top human rights prize, the Martin Ennals Award for Human Rights Defenders, set to be bestowed next week in Geneva.
Mona Seif became known to the public during the 2011 uprising against the rule of then President Hosni Mubarak when she provided updates via social media and founded the “No Military Trials for Civilians” campaign.
Egyptian activist Mona Seif (Image: YouTube)
Despite the revelation from a pro-Israel group of her apparently vocal support via Twitter of terrorist acts, the Martin Ennals Prize jury continues to seriously consider her candidacy.
The monitoring group UN Watch suggests she is unworthy for the human rights prize, because she has in the past tweeted statements that appear to show sympathy for Hamas and other terrorists. This past spring, UN Watch called on the jury which includes Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch and eight other human rights groups to drop her nomination -- a call that was not heeded.
UN Watch tells TheBlaze that Seif has also expressed a willingness to fight alongside Palestinians to the death. The group found some tweets from March of last year in which she wrote in Arabic (Blaze translation) “Palestine is my way and I am full of determination and will. I will draw my blood in the West Bank, in Gaza I hope to die, in Bethlehem I will strengthen my people, and in Jerusalem I will achieve martyrdom…”
UN Watch found another tweet she sent out three days later in which she said: “A day will yet come when I will join the resistance and participate in the intifada. Palestine is my way, and I am full of determination and will. I will draw my blood in the West Bank; I hope to die in Gaza…” Here are the images of the messages as captured by UN Watch:
TheBlaze obtained a letter sent on Monday by UN Watch Executive Director Hillel Neuer to William Zabel, head of Human Rights First (HRF), one of the groups that is on the prize jury.
“As a human rights supporter, you should not celebrate an unabashed advocate of violence and terrorism,” Neuer of UN Watch wrote.
UN Watch in April highlighted other tweets, including her criticism in November 2012 of Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch for their call on the Izz ad-Din al-Qassam Brigades which is associated with Hamas to halt its attacks on civilians. The State Department classifies Hamas as a Foreign Terrorist Organization.
When Amnesty tweeted this:
Feel enraged by the violence in #Gaza & #Israel? Demand that @netanyahu & @AlqassamBrigade stop attacks on civilians— Amnesty International USA (@Amnesty International USA) 1353087326.0
This was Seif’s response:
@amnesty you don't ask an occupied nation to stop their "Resistance" to end violence!!! SHAME ON YOU!— Mona Seif (@Mona Seif) 1353089703.0
When Amnesty tweeted this photo showing both Israeli and Palestinian victims of the violence, adding the tagline "Stop the madness! Share this image if you want an arms embargo on all sides #Israel #Hamas #Gaza "...
...Seif slammed the human rights group.
@aidaseif @amnesty & @hrw r leading a shameful campaign asking Palestinians under occupation & non stop air strikes 2 stop their resistance!— Mona Seif (@Mona Seif) 1353372376.0
“Resistance” is a word used frequently among Palestinians to refer to armed attacks on Israel.
Seif also tweeted in support of terrorist attacks on pipelines in the Sinai Peninsula transporting gas to Israel (expletive warning).
“We the Egyptian ppl DO NOT WANT OUR GAS TO BE EXPORTED TO ISRAEL.Sinai ppl are our heroes everytime they blow up the pipelines #FuckISrael,” Seif tweeted on July 6, 2011.
“In endorsing the actions of the Al Qassam Brigades, she was effectively advocating, supporting and legitimizing attacks such as their launch of Fajr 5 missiles at the city of Tel Aviv,” Neuer added in his letter to one of the groups on the jury considering awarding Seif the prestigious human rights prize.
After UN Watch published a report in April highlighting her controversial tweets, Seif responded, tweeting on May 1, “all my anti israel tweets were written in English precisely so that the international community celebrating our… revolution understands that we support the resistance of the palestinian nation against israel. I didn't fool anyone or hide my thoughts.”
“i support a nation's right to resist occupation! Sending me tweets calling me a terrorist wont change the fact that real terrorist is Israel,” she tweeted.
In May, Seif further defended her tweets in a post on Facebook, maintaining she has not celebrated attacks on civilians. She wrote, “No-one was ever killed or injured in an attack on the gas pipelines in Egypt.”
“I have never called for nor celebrated attacks on civilians. My position is very clear: I support people’s right to resist occupation and I resist all attempts at portraying the siege of a predominantly civilian population by the world's 4th most powerful Army as one of 'equivalence,’” she wrote, calling UN Watch’s protest of her candidacy a “vulgar slandering.”
She concluded her defense with a final dig at Israel (expletive warning).
“And ofcourse #F**kIsrael until there's justice for the Palestinians,” Seif wrote on Facebook.