Egypt releases comedian after more than 2 years in prison

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2020

The lawyers said Abu Zaid will still need to report to a police station twice a week.

According to reports, during his arrest almost two dozen police personnel raided his home at dawn, searching through his belongings, including his laptop and mobile phone.

In 2016, he attracted controversy for handing out balloons made of inflated condoms to police officers on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak and had been aimed at reforming the state's heavy-handed security apparatus. The show was cancelled for its political commentary, despite being watched by millions.

Abu Zeid began publishing his satirical program, The Rich Content, on YouTube and Facebook in 2015.

The news of Abu Zaid's release was met with both elation and scepticism online.

A Giza criminal court has ordered on Saturday the release of satirist Shady Abu Zeid with probationary measures after two years in detention on charges of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news. "It is with caution that I celebrate this wonderful moment when Shady spends a night at home".

Egyptian authorities have released a comedian who was working for a popular satirical TV programme after more than two years in prison without trial.

Rights groups say the government of President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi has been curtailing freedoms since he took office in 2014, after the army's ouster of late Islamist president Mohamed Morsi the year before.

Earlier this year, Egypt faced global condemnation for the death in custody of 24-year-old film-maker Shady Habash.

According to several rights groups, an estimated 60,000 detainees in Egypt are political prisoners.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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