“I’m getting arrested”
With this terse message on his Facebook account, Egyptian cartoonist Ashraf Hamdi announced his arrest on 24 January shortly after posting a video tribute to the 2011 uprising on the tenth anniversary of the first mass demonstrations that toppled Hosni Mubarak.
The video posted by Hamdi was a short animation piece dedicated to the “heroes” of Mohamed Mahmoud Street in downtown Cairo, where dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with security forces in November 2011.
In the video, Hamdi shows a protester in the middle of two police vans saying: “I am the voice amidst the silence of the whole world, who stood against injustice, corruption and oppression. I am the one who smiled when he was shot and my blood spilled on the asphalt.
The short film, which has now disappeared from the internet, ended with the Arabic word “mikamileen”, meaning to be continued.
A number of human rights and human rights organisations have condemned Hamdi’s detention and called for his immediate release from the press have condemned Hamdi’s detention and called for his immediate release, hundreds of people shared the video while asking about the cartoonist’s whereabouts.
According to Al Jazeeratwo security sources confirmed to Reuters news agency that the authorities had detained Hamdi, who runs a YouTube channel called Egyptoonwhich has more than 3 million subscribers. The sources said the cartoonist was taken from his home in the early hours of the morning to be investigated on charges of “misuse of social media and spreading false news”.
Humour in trouble, a collection of cases (III)
Cases of cartoonists who have had problems of some importance because of their cartoons or satirical illustrations. There are also some stories of other people who, without being cartoonists, have got into trouble for sharing them.