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Egypt satirist charged again after court orders his release

Egyptian police [File photo]

The Egyptian satirist Shady Abu Zeid has become the latest victim of Egypt’s revolving door policy after he was added to a new case despite being released.

On 6 May 2018 police stormed Abu Zeid’s home at dawn, arresting him and taking his mobile phone and laptop. Several days later they released a photo of him standing behind a table with revolutionary posters, a tear gas canister, bottles of alcohol and a gas mask.

Shady, who is a well-known satirist for the TV show “Abla Fahita”, was detained under case 621/2018 along with blogger Mohamed Oxygen and activists Shady Al-Ghazaly Harb and Amal Fathy and accused of joining a terror group and publishing false news.

According to Mada Masr, Shady often tackled the issue of sexual harassment which is widespread in Egypt, in 2016 releasing a video in which he and a friend stop men in the street, ask them how many women they’ve harassed, and then break an egg on their head.

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On the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian uprising, Shady and the actor Ahmed Malek presented balloons made out of condoms to policemen pretending to celebrate Police Day. Writing on the balloons read: “From the youth of Egypt to the police on January 25.”

The video went viral with 1.4 million views just hours after it was posted. Malek issued an apology over the incident whilst Abu Zeid released a statement to say that the constitution supports freedom of speech and creativity.

Abu Zeid was released earlier this week on precautionary measures. Amnesty International has condemned the Egyptian regime’s revolving door policy of imprisoning members of the opposition on new cases after their release has been ordered by judges.

Early last year a court also ordered he be released on probation but a judge later accepted the prosecution’s appeal to keep him in prison.

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