Celebrating the 10 anniversary of the Egyptian revolution that overthrew the 30-years-old Mubarak regime, cartoonist Ashraf Hamdi posted a cartoon video online recalling the 2011 Arab Spring protest. Yet, Egyptian police were quick to locate and arrest Hamdi a few hours later.
The cartoonist, who has the popular Egyptoon YouTube channel followed by over 3 million people, posted a last remark on his Facebook account saying that he was being arrested before he was taken into custody during the early hours of the 25th of January.
Social media users took to Twitter and Facebook calling on authorities to release Hamdi, saying that being pro-revolution should never be a reason for anyone's arrest. They also wondered if his latest 1:30-minute video was the reason he was arrested since it addressed the memory of the revolution.
#AchrafHamdi is an #Egyptian #Artist #Caricaturist just arrested by #Sisi because he dared to say we continue,remembering the #Anniversary of the Egyptian Revolution in January 25— Layla Bensassi (@LaylaBe4) January 26, 2021
Sisi is a dictator who continues to ignore #HumanRights #اشرف_حمدي FREE him NOW FREE all 60000! https://t.co/S6aCaTp0eV
اعلن تضامني مع رسام الكاريكاتير ومبتكر الرسوم المتحركة المصري اشرف حمدي ، والذي اعتقل بعد نشره فيديو يحيي فيه ثورة ٢٥ يناير #الحرية_لاشرف_حمديhttps://t.co/SeBWZKSbOBمصر-القبض-على-رسام-كاريكاتير-في-الساعات-الأولى-من-ذكرى-يناير— Emad Hajjaj Cartoons (@EmadHajjaj) January 27, 2021
Translation: "I announce full solidarity with the Egyptian cartoonist and animator Ashraf Hamdi who was arrested for a video in which he remembered the 25 January revolution."
Responding to news of Hamdi's arrest, many Egyptian and Arab cartoonists posted in solidarity with him, urging authorities to stop persecuting artists and free speech.
However, the video that is believed to have landed Ashraf Hamdi in prison is no longer available online.
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