Saturday, November 29, 2014

Actor accused of grand treason for criticizing Sisi's security record

Mada Masr

Actor accused of treason for criticizing Sisi's security record

November 17, 2014 

Lawyer Samir Sabry has filed a lawsuit against actor Khaled Abol Naga for criticizing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi’s security record.

Sabry accused Abol Naga of treason, inciting against the Sisi administration and threatening society’s general well-being.

In a video appearance during Cairo International Film Festival, Abol Naga had criticized Sisi and the security apparatus’ performance, one year after the Egyptian people gave the president a full mandate to fight terrorism.

“If you cannot secure [Egypt] without sacrificing the people’s rights, you should not stay in your position. If you cannot do this [securing the country], then leave, go away. It seems that we are going to say it again very soon,” Abol Naga told reporters.

Sisi’s supporters launched a massive smear campaign against Abol Naga on social and private media channels in retaliation. In a phone interview with the privately owned Sada al-Balad channel, Sabry told talk show host Ahmed Moussa that Abol Naga is a homosexual.

“Anyone who slanders his president, state institutions and security is not a man — he is a homosexual,” Sabry said.

Abol Naga responded by threatening to sue all those who defame him.

“My right to sue every media body or other who is a part of the campaign against me for my rightful opinion on Sisi's failure is reserved,” he said on his Twitter account under the hashtag “down with the mentality of the military.”

“The country needs [us] to say it again: Leave,” he added, addressing Sisi.

Abol Naga dismissed the smear campaign against him as a sign that the presidency is “nervous.”

“The igniting campaign against me in the media just because that Sisi was not up to his promise [in fighting terrorism] after one year says only one thing: the regime is nervous. Why?” Abol Naga wondered.

A group of Twitter users created the hashtag #Support_Naga to send out tweets in support of the actor. Some referred to Article 65 of the Constitution granting the right to freedom of expression in any medium.

The Arab Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) issued a statement on Monday lambasting Sabry’s lawsuit and the ensuing smear campaign against Abol Naga.

“Such an incident, which was preceded by the incident in which a complaint was filed to withdraw Bassem Youssef’s nationality for cheap accusations of criticizing President Sisi, is an indication of what we are facing in this period by those who flatter the regime or those who seek fame,” ANHRI said.

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