CAIRO (AP) — Bassem Sabry, one of Egypt's most respected bloggers and a democracy advocate who chronicled the country's turmoil since the 2011 uprising that ousted autocrat Hosni Mubarak, has died. He was 31.
Sabry, a political columnist for a number of Egyptian and international media, won praise for his balanced analysis even amid the deep polarization that has divided Egypt over the past three years, particularly after massive protests last summer led to the military's removal of Islamist Mohammed Morsi, the first elected president after Mubarak's fall.
At a time when many in Egyptian media were ferociously praising the military's move, Sabry — while deeply critical of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood — raised concerns over the possible return of a police state in Egypt amid a bloody crackdown on Morsi's Islamist supporters.
"It is now clear that January 25, as it once stood, is virtually beyond restoration," he wrote on the news website Al-Monitor following a deadly police assault on pro-Morsi protests last August, referring to the Jan. 25, 2011 start of the pro-democracy uprising against Mubarak. "Politics have utterly failed in Cairo in favor of confrontation."
Sabry died from an accidental fall from the balcony of a Cairo high-rise, according to security officials and media reports.
The cause of the fall was not immediately known, the officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with police regulations. The state-run Al-Ahram daily said he fell after suffering a diabetic coma while inspecting an apartment under construction. One of Sabry's friends, screenwriter Sherif Neguib, said Sabry had suffered from diabetes-related sickness lately but that the circumstances of his fall were still not clear.