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Egypt releases satirist and political prisoner Shady Abu Zeid

Egyptian satirist Shady Abu Zeid [haythamabokhal1/Twitter]
Egyptian satirist Shady Abu Zeid [haythamabokhal1/Twitter]

An Egyptian satirist who spent two years in pretrial detention has now been released.

Shady Abu Zeid was arrested in May 2018 after being accused of spreading false news and belonging to a terror group. He was detained under the same case as blogger Mohamed Oxygen and activists Shady Al-Ghazaly Harb and Amal Fathy.

Police stormed his home at dawn, arrested him and seized his mobile phone and laptop.

They later released a photo of him standing behind a table spread with revolutionary posters, a tear gas canister, bottles of alcohol and a gas mask.

Shady used his TV show Abla Fahita to tackle the issue of sexual harassment, an issue currently under fierce and rare debate in the country.

In 2016 Shady released a video in which he stopped men on the streets, asked them how many women they had harassed, and then broke an egg on their head.

On the fifth anniversary of the Egyptian revolution Shady and actor Ahmed Malek presented condoms blown up as balloons to policemen, which the words, "From the youth of Egypt to the police on January 25."

Despite a judge's order to release him on precautionary measures in February this year, before he left the prison he was added to a new case.

READ: Egypt businessmen asked for EGP 2mn to support pro-Sisi protests

Last year, a court also accepted that he be released on probation but the prosecution appealed and he remained in prison.

His family have shared a photo of him at home after he was finally released on Saturday. He is on probation and has to report to a police station twice a week.

News of his release comes as Democratic members of the US Congress warn Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi that they will not tolerate human rights violations if Joe Biden wins the upcoming presidential elections.

According to the Washington Post, 56 American lawmakers wrote a letter to Sisi demanding that he released arbitrary detainees imprisoned for exercising their basic human rights.

Democratic Representative Ro Khanna said: "Our relationship with Egypt will be re-examined on the basis of human rights, and that human rights will be given priority."

Thousands of political opponents, human rights activists and lawyers have been imprisoned on fabricated charges under the current regime.

Roughly 2,000 people were arrested this year in the space of two weeks over the 20 September protests.

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