Egypt’s State Security Prosecution imprisons Hamada Smeida, an actor; Ahmed El-Desouky, a YouTuber, , and two others for 15 days, pending investigations, on charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media.
The defendants were charged with “misusing social media, insulting the Egyptian police, and spreading false news.” The Rassd News Network tweeted saying: “
Egyptian Supreme State Security Prosecution imprisons actor Hamada Smeida, the content creator, Ahmed El-Desouky, and two others for 15 days, pending investigations, on charges of joining a terrorist group, spreading false news, and misusing social media.”
The police arrested Hamada Somaida and Ahmed El Desouki after circulating a short film in which Somaida played the role of a police officer, and the defendants practiced actions in which the Supreme State Security Prosecution considered offensive to the police.
The video clip sparked controversy due to the appearance of police officers setting up an ambush and arresting a young man in his car accompanied by a girl, and the police considered that this act offended them.
Examining the video, it turned out to be an acting scene by a YouTuber and two others.
The police found in the defendants’ possession only a sonic gun and a walkie-talkie that were used in the short film.
It is worth noting that Somaida is an Egyptian actor who participated in small roles in many films and series, and achieved wide fame.
State Security Prosecution
According to a report by Amnesty International, the Supreme State Security Prosecution (SSSP), a branch of the Public Prosecution responsible for investigating national security threats, is complicit in many human rights violations in Egypt, including: enforced disappearances, arbitrary deprivation of liberty, torture and other ill-treatment. It has detained thousands of people for prolonged periods on spurious grounds and rampantly violated detainees’ fair trial rights.
“In Egypt nowadays, the Supreme State Security Prosecution has stretched the definition of ‘terrorism’ to encompass peaceful protests, social media posts and legitimate political activities, resulting in peaceful government critics being treated as enemies of the state.
The SSSP has become a central tool of repression whose primary goal appears to be arbitrarily detaining and intimidating critics, all in the name of counter-terrorism,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Many of those prosecuted by the SSSP were detained for peacefully expressing their opinions or defending human rights and should never have been arrested in the first place.”
“On a global stage, Egyptian authorities have sought to whitewash their crackdown on freedom of expression by claiming they are clamping down on ‘terrorists’. But in reality, the Egyptian authorities consider even peaceful opposition and expression as “terrorism”. The international community must not be fooled by this deceptive rhetoric,” said Philip Luther, Research and Advocacy Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“Egypt’s international allies must not sacrifice their human rights principles for the sake of business and security ties. They must press the Egyptian authorities to reform the SSSP and release all those detained for peacefully expressing their opinions or defending human rights,” he said