Egypt: Artists “suffer from the shackles of censorship”


Four years after the January 25 revolution, Egyptian artists say they still suffer from the shackles of censorship and restrictions on freedom of expression, wrote Dina al-Shibeeb in Al Arabiya News on 25 January 2015.

In 2014, singer Mohamed Attia faced charges after protesting against a court’s ruling to acquit Mubarak, and in November 2014, the head of Egypt’s state radio announced that the station would take off songs by “unlicensed” singers.

An Egyptian lawyer had filed a legal case against the famed actor Khaled Abu al-Naga and singer Mohamed Attia with the Cairo prosecutor-general over their alleged incitement of violence and protests against president Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

The lawyer, Hisham Ibrahim, filed a legal case against Mohamed Attia for protesting against the “innocence” of toppled president Husni Mubarak in the iconic Tahrir Square in Cairo, epicenter of the 2011 revolution that ousted him.

In late 2014, some Egyptian intellectuals and artist issued a statement to express their solidarity with actor Khaled Abu al-Naga.

“The censorship limits are just like before the revolution, they are still in place. The modus operandi is still the same,” filmmaker Aida Elkashef told Dina al-Shibeeb.

Al-Shibeeb also reported about the ‘Ahl al-Iskindirya’ (‘The People of Alexandria’) television series which was stopped after it was scheduled to air in July 2014. The series was about the corruption in the security services prior to the Jan. 25 revolution.

» Al Arabiya – 25 January 2015:
Four years since Jan. 25 uprising: do Egypt artists feel free?

» Daily News – 6 December 2014:
Human rights group criticises investigation into celebrity protesters

» Al Arabiya – 4 December 2014:
Egyptian actor faces legal woes over ‘protests’

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