Mohamed Oxygen.. a young man, a camera and a YouTube channel confronting oppression: How did the attempts to document led to an arrest (A profile)

2 September, 2018

Mohamed Oxygen.. a young man, a camera and a YouTube channel confronting oppression: How did the attempts to document led to an arrest (A profile)

A YouTube account with 220 thousand subscribers, owned by a young man who shoots videos depicting the streets, people, their concerns, demands, and crisis, in order to convey their voice to whom it may concern. However, as usual, these attempts always end with an arrest.

Mohamed Oxygen is a young blogger, his real name is “Mohamed Ibrahim Mohamed Radwan”. A Workers University graduate and an employee in a publishing house. He dreamed only to carry a camera around and document everything he meets.

His collection of photos and videos encouraged him to create a blog and a YouTube channel to share with others what he shoots. According to him, all he cares about is his passion for his job and for shooting videos. He does not belong to any political party, he has no concern except for documenting incidents through his videos. His YouTube channel “Oxygen Egypt” is the reason behind the ongoing harassment he is facing from the security bodies.

On his YouTube channel, he interviewed a number of prominent characters, including novelist Alaa al Aswani, ambassador Maasoum Marzok, Dr. Mamdouh Hamza and human rights lawyer Gamal Eid and other public figures.

Mohamed Ibrahim posted on his blog and YouTube channel about the involvement of the National Security apparatus in torture and enforced disappearance. He also wrote about the presidential elections and to what extent it is serious.

At 3 A.M. on April 6, 2018, security forces arrested Oxygen, as security personnel raided his home in “al Maadi” district and took him to an unknown location.

On April 17, 2018, Oxygen appeared at the fifth settlement prosecution. He was interrogated and charged with “Publishing false news and statements and joining a banned group.”

Fifth settlement prosecution issued a decision to hold him in pretrial detention for 15 days pending investigations in case no. 621 of 2018 Supreme State Security.

Nour Fahmy, Oxygen’s lawyer, said that the last time he saw Oxygen was during the last detention renewal session, in which his health seemed to have deteriorated as a result of the time he spent on hunger strike.

Nour added that some scratch marks were visible on Oxygen’s back, and it was documented in a report filed by The Arabic Network For Human Rights Information (ANHRI). It is worth mentioning that Oxygen is held in solitary confinement.

The report filed by ANHRI mentions physical assault against Oxygen, the refusal of the prison warden to enable Oxygen’s lawyer from ANHRI to visit his client and refusing to enable his family to visit him twice.

Oxygen’s family reported to ANHRI’s lawyers that Tora’s prison administration refuses to allow them to visit him in prison. ANHRI’s lawyers also learned that Oxygen has been subjected to physical assaults and that he was being held in solitary confinement, so his lawyer from ANHRI obtained a permission to visit him from the Public Prosecution.

On 5 June, the lawyer submitted this permission to the prison administration, yet the officers in charge of visits told him that Oxygen has refused the visit. The lawyer demanded to meet the warden and informed him that he insists on the visit or else to hear from Oxygen in person that he refuses the visit. The warden rejected this as well.

Arresting Oxygen has driven a number of human rights defenders and activists to blog about him as a vlogger. It is strange that some of those who blogged defending Oxygen were arrested afterward on different dates.