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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Egypt: Authorities shut down respected art gallery in Cairo

31 December 2015

In a move seen by free speech advocates as “a severe blow to freedom of artistic expression and creativity”, the Egyptian authorities have shut down a highly respected art gallery and an affiliated theatre in downtown Cairo. By Shahira Amin, reporting for Freemuse The evening raid on 28 December 2015 on …

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Egypt: Censorship Authority stirs controversy over attempted film bans

3 December 2015

The Egyptian Censorship Authority has reversed its decision to completely reject the production of a comedy film by actor and screenwriter Tamer Abdel Moneim, El Watan News reported on 4 November 2015. The comedy, which is meant to be a sequel to Abdel Moneim’s 2003 film ‘Al-Meshakhasaty’ (The Master of …

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Egypt: Playwright speaks about his trials with censorship

23 November 2015

The arts magazine Guernica recently published an interview with Karim Alrawi, an Egyptian playwright and novelist. Though his literary career started in London, he returned to Egypt to teach in the theatre department at the American University in Cairo. During his time teaching at the American University, Alrawi also attempted …

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