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Egypt: Theatre play banned in governorate of Suez

12 February 2016

The governorate of Suez has banned the theatre play ‘Ghaybouba’ (‘Coma’), starring well-known Egyptian actor Ahmed Bedeir, in response to a public outcry over its tarnishing of Egypt’s 2011 Revolution and its martyrs. The governorate of Suez is home to the first martyrs of the 25 January uprising against Mubarak …

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Egypt five years after the revolution: Artistic freedom is stifled

25 January 2016

In the wake of a security clampdown on free expression since the military takeover of the country in July 2013, rights advocates lament that the space for free artistic expression and creativity has diminished in Egypt as restrictions on art and literary works that address politics, sex and religion, remain …

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Egypt: Arts unions granted legal powers to self-police

25 January 2016

On 9 November 2015 Minister of Justice Ahmed El-Zend granted judicial police status, or “Al Dabtia Al Kadaeia”, to both the musician’s and actor’s trade unions, effectively meaning that unions members can now legally police and regulate themselves, reported news site Dotmsr.com The controversial decision was further compounded when, on …

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Egypt: Government cancels concert marking revolution anniversary

22 January 2016

The band Elawela Balady posted on its Facebook page that they were informed by the Ministry of State of Antiquities to cancel a concert they had scheduled on 24 January 2016 to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the January 25 Revolution, reported The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information. The …

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Egypt: Screenwriter threatened by Muslim Brotherhood

21 January 2016

Some Muslim Brotherhood members launched a media attack against serialised TV show ‘The Kingdom of Yusuf Al Maghrabi’ and its screenwriter Youssef Hamdi, including resorting to blackmail, for portraying some of the group’s members in a poor light, reported online news platform Newsbookra. The threats came after members of the …

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Egypt: Singer released after paying bail on contempt of religion charges

18 January 2016

Shaaban Abdel Rahim, famed and controversial Egyptian folklore singer, was under legal and public attacks for the Youtube release of a video of him singing Qur’an lyrics while wearing the religious clothing of Al-Azhar clerics, which landed him in jail, reported The Cairo Post. Attorney Mohammed Kamal filed a claim …

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Egypt: Poet banned from travel

15 January 2016

Egyptian authorities prevented poet Omar Hazek from traveling to the Netherlands on 14 January 2016 where he was set to accept the 2016 Oxfam Novib/PEN Award for Freedom of Expression, reported PEN International. Authorities detained and questioned Hazek in Cairo International Airport for five hours, eventually releasing him, but not …

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Egypt: Union president suspends six singers from performing

14 January 2016

Hani Shaker, controversial president of the Egyptian Musicians Syndicate, issued a decision to suspend six singers from being able to work as artists based on their behaviours during performances, reported Al Arabya News. Shaker stated that their behaviour was not in line with public morals as they wore “body revealing …

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Egypt: Novelist acquitted

6 January 2016

The Egyptian novelist Ahmed Nagy was acquitted by the Cairo Bulaq Criminal Court of charges of publishing and writing an article with “obscene sexual content” on 2 January 2016. The novelist was referred to court in November 2015 after publishing a chapter of his novel ‘The Use of Life’ in Akhbar …

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