Egyptian producer and filmmaker Moataz Abdel Wahab has been detained on 11 May, on charges of “membership in a terrorist group” and “publication and dissemination of fake news and false data”, reported Al Araby.
The charges brought against the filmmaker allegedly relate to several of his documentary films which were sold to the Aljazeera Documentary Channel.
According to Cairo 24, security forces arrested the filmmaker from his home on 5 May on the orders of the state security prosecutor for questioning. Since then, Abdel Wahab has not been heard of until 11 May, when his pre-trial detention was renewed at the State Security Prosecutor’s Office.
Team One Productions owned by Abdel Wahab, released a statement on Facebook in which the company “denies any link or association with Islamist political organisations hostile to the Egyptian state”, highlighting that the production company strengthen the “emphasis since its creation more than ten years ago on the production of works with cultural and artistic content which contribute to promoting the country”.
Human rights and art organisations are calling for the immediate release of Abdel Wahab.
The filmmaker’s family is awaiting his release.
In Egypt, there is “continued excessive use of anti-terrorism legislation by the Attorney General for State Security against any critical, including peaceful, opposition,” found Freemuse in its State of Artistic Freedom 2020 report. Freemuse documented several violations of the right to freedom of artistic freedom, perpetrated in 84% of cases by government or pro-government bodies and individuals in Egypt.