Skyline Calls on Egyptian Authorities to Immediately Release Detained Cartoonist
STOCKHOLM - Skyline calls on the Egyptian authorities to immediately release the cartoonist Ashraf Hamdy, who was arbitrarily and unlawfully detained two days ago.
In its press release, Skyline condemned Hamdy's arrest, which coincided with the 10th anniversary of the 25 January Revolution. The arrest adds further evidence to the Egyptian authorities' abuse of freedoms.
Hamdy's arrest underlines the Egyptian authorities' acts of intimidation and fear they use to suppress all dissenting voices. It also violates freedom of the press and shows how the authorities prohibit the dissemination of information.
Hamdy is a dentist, a well-known cartoonist and the founder of the Youtube channel “Egyptoon” which has over 250 million followers
Ashraf Hamdy previously worked as a cartoonist for the government-owned “Sabah Al-Khair” magazine and the “Masrawy” news website. He gained recognition for his animated videos which provide social criticism through the cartoon character “Emon Al-Majnoun” or (Crazy Emon).
“Ashraf Hamdy” has announced himself, that he was getting detained at dawn this morning; as he posted on his Facebook account “I’m getting arrested”. This was in the first few minutes of the 10th anniversary of the 25 January Revolution
Before his arrest, Hamdy published a video in which he recounted the experiences felt during the 25 January revolution in 2011, including some of the popular slogans that were chanted, such as “bread, freedom, social justice ". In the video, an animated character describes his emotions of silence and his hopes for the revolution to continue.
Skyline indicates that 33 journalists are still being arrested in Egypt (according to Reporters Without Borders) in light of the ongoing policies of repression at an alarming rate. This violates international conventions and agreements that protect journalists and bloggers and the right to spread information.
Skyline calls for the immediate release of the cartoonist Hamdy and all journalists arbitrarily detained in Egypt. It also calls for stopping violating the right to obtain and spread information without restrictions. Moreover, Skyline stresses that Cairo must respect the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights that prohibit restricting public freedoms and freedom of media.
The human rights organization "Skyline" calls for more pressure on the Egyptian authorities to stop the arrest and prolonged pre-trial detention of journalists and bloggers defending human rights. It also calls for stop accusing them of being affiliated to terrorist groups.