Egypt: release of an author of satirical videos

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An activist and author of satirical videos, imprisoned for more than two years in Egypt, has been released, his sister announced on her Facebook page on Saturday evening.

Arrested in May 2018, Shady Abu Zeid is being prosecuted by the Egyptian State Security Prosecutor’s Office for belonging to a terrorist group and spreading false news.

“Shady has been released under judicial supervision and is currently at home with us,” wrote the sister of satirist Rola Abu Zeid.

According to the Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE), a local human rights organization, the decision to release him under judicial supervision was taken on October 10 before a court specializing in terrorism.

Mr. Abu Zeid, who was broadcasting videos on his YouTube channel, was part of the satirical television show “Abla Fajita”, which was broadcast on the CBC satellite channel, and which authorities had previously stopped broadcasting.

In 2016, Abu Zeid sparked controversy when he posted a video on the occasion of Police Day in Egypt on January 25, showing him celebrating with security officers in Tahrir Square in Cairo giving them balloons that were actually condoms.

Since the dismissal by the army in Egypt of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013, the regime of the current head of state Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been accused of carrying out a fierce repression against any form of protest.

Egypt has around 60,000 political prisoners, according to human rights NGOs.

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