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Egypt cartoonist arrested on 10th anniversary of 2011 uprising

Ashraf Hamdi posted a short video dedicated to the heroes of Mohammed Mahmoud Street who were killed in clashes with security forces

Egyptian authorities yesterday arrested a cartoonist after he posted a video tribute to the country's 2011 uprising on the tenth anniversary of the first mass protests, Reuters reported.

Cartoonist Ashraf Hamdi was detained early in the morning from his home for investigation on charges of misusing social media sites and spreading false news, two sources said.

Hamdi published a short cartoon video on Facebook on Sunday dedicated to the 'heroes' of Mohamed Mahmoud Street in central Cairo, where dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with the security forces in November 2011.

An interior ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Demonstrations that led to the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak and helped spread a wave of protest across the region started a decade ago on 25 January, when Egypt marks National Police Day.

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Yesterday, President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi made an annual address at the police academy in Cairo that focussed on the importance of stability and development but made a brief reference to the uprising.

"Today coincides with Egypt's celebration of the revolution of 25 January, a revolution led by sincere youth, aspiring to a better future and reality," Al-Sisi said. "I say to the youth of Egypt that your nation is looking to your youthful arms and truthful efforts to complete the path of reform, construction and development."

In 2013, Al-Sisi as army chief led the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi, Egypt's first democratically elected president. Al-Sisi became president in 2014, and has overseen a broad crackdown on political dissent.

The president and his supporters say security measures have restored stability after post-uprising turmoil, however rights groups have said authorities are using claims of instability to silence opposition and have jailed over 60,000 political prisoners without recourse to legal representation.

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