CAIRO — 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.
Mr. Sabry, a political columnist for a number of Egyptian and international news organizations, won praise for his balanced analysis amid the deep polarization that divided Egypt the past three years, particularly after massive protests last summer led to the military’s removal of Mohammed Morsi, an Islamist who was elected president after Mubarak’s fall.
As many in Egyptian media were ferociously praising the military’s move, Mr. Sabry, while deeply critical of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood, raised concerns over the possible return of a police state amid a bloody crackdown on Morsi’s Islamist supporters.
‘‘It is now clear that Jan. 25, as it once stood, is virtually beyond restoration,’’ he wrote after a deadly police assault on Morsi supporters last August, referring to the Jan. 25, 2011, start of the uprising against Mubarak. ‘‘Politics have utterly failed in Cairo in favor of confrontation.’’
Mr. Sabry died from an accidental fall from the balcony of a Cairo high-rise, according to officials and news reports.
The cause of the fall was not known, the officials said. The state-run Al-Ahram daily said Mr. Sabry fell after suffering a diabetic coma while inspecting an apartment under construction. One of Mr. Sabry’s friends, screenwriter Sherif Neguib, said that Mr. Sabry had suffered from diabetes-related sickness lately, but that the circumstances of his fall were not clear.
Mr. Sabry’s funeral was postponed because of a delay in issuing the death certificate.
‘‘The very best people are the ones who leave us early,’’ said Nagib, who knew Mr. Sabry since the 2011 uprising.
Mohamed ElBaradei, a prominent democracy campaigner who served as Egypt’s vice president after Morsi’s ouster, said in a tweet that Mr. Sabry was a ‘‘noble person we lost at a time of dire need.’’
Writer Mohammed el-Dahshan, who knew Mr. Sabry for more than 13 years, described him in an online eulogy as ‘‘an extremely astute writer, a gifted analyst, an indefatigable storyteller, and, even through the darkness, optimistic to a fault.’’
‘‘His fundamentals never changed,” Dahshan wrote. “He demanded rights for all a decade ago, as he did yesterday. He stood for the oppressed.’’
Mr. Sabry, who wrote in English and Arabic, contributed to Al-Monitor, The Atlantic, Foreign Policy, and the Egyptian newspaper Al-Masry Al-Youm. The blog he kept was titled ‘‘An Arab Citizen.’’
‘‘I want to live in a country with real freedom in thought, faith, and expression,’’ he wrote in an article on the online news portal Yanair.
‘‘I want the state to rise up for the sake of the individual’s political, social, economic, and humanitarian rights. I don’t want anyone to face irreversible injustice. I want the rivers of blood to stop.’’