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Photographer & director Shady Habash dies at the age of 24 in Egyptian prison

Updated: Nov 7, 2020

Egyptian photographer and music video director Shady Habash dies in Tora prison, Cairo, at the age of 24.

After almost 800 days in prison, photographer and music video director Shady Habash dies in Tora Prison, Cairo, on May 1st 2020, from health issues yet not specified.

Shady Habash was imprisoned since March 2018, because of directing the music video for Egyptian artist Ramy Essam’s song Balaha. Shady didn’t have anything to do with the content of the song. As an acknowledged photographer and director Shady was constantly working on Middle Eastern projects, and Balaha was just one of the many music videos that Shady directed in his career.

The charges against Shady Habash included being a member of a terrorist group, spreading false news, abuse of social media networks, blasphemy, contempt of religion and insulting the military. A verdict was never given.

Prison Doesn't Kill – The Last Letter of Shady Habash

Prison doesn’t kill, loneliness does.

I need your support, to not die.

For the past two years I’ve been trying on my own to resist everything happening to me, so that I can come out of prison the same person you’ve always known, but I can’t go on.

Resistance in prison means resisting yourself – protecting yourself and your humanity from the impact of what you see and live each day. It means preventing yourself from losing your mind or slowly dying, because of having been thrown into a room two years ago, being forgotten, without knowing when or how you will get out.

So I’m still in prison. Every 45 days I go before a judge who gives me another 45 days in jail, without even looking at me nor the papers of the case in which everyone else was released 6 months ago. Anyhow, my next court appearance will be Tuesday November 19th.

I need your support, and I need you to remind them of me being still in prison, and that they’ve forgotten me – and that I’m dying slowly because I know I’m standing alone in front of everything. I know that a lot of friends who love me are afraid to write about me, thinking I will be released anyway without their support.

I need you, and I need your support more than ever.

- Shady Habash, Oct 26th 2019

Ramy Essam: Filmmaker Shady Habash suffered an injust death >>

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