Egypt arrests cartoonist on 10th anniversary of uprising, sources say

  • World
  • Monday, 25 Jan 2021

FILE PHOTO: Egyptians rally at Tahrir Square in downtown Cairo February 1, 2011. Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians, from students and doctors to the jobless poor, swamped Cairo on Tuesday in the biggest demonstration so far in an uprising against an increasingly isolated President Hosni Mubarak. REUTERS/Amr Abdallah Dalsh

CAIRO (Reuters) - Egyptian authorities arrested a cartoonist on Monday who posted a video tribute to the country's 2011 uprising on the 10th anniversary of the first mass protests, two security sources said.

Cartoonist Ashraf Hamdi was detained early in the morning from his home for investigation on charges of misusing social media sites and spreading false news, the sources said.

An interior ministry spokesman could not immediately be reached for comment.

Hamdi published a short cartoon video on Facebook on Sunday dedicated to the "heroes" of Mohamed Mahmoud street in central Cairo, where dozens of protesters were killed in clashes with the security forces in November 2011.

Demonstrations that led to the overthrow of former president Hosni Mubarak and helped spread a wave of protest across the region started a decade ago on Jan. 25, when Egypt marks national police day.

On Monday President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi made an annual address at the police academy in Cairo that focussed on the importance of stability and development but made a brief reference to the uprising.

"Today coincides with Egypt's celebration of the revolution of Jan. 25, a revolution led by sincere youth, aspiring to a better future and reality," Sisi said.

"I say to the youth of Egypt that your nation is looking to your youthful arms and truthful efforts to complete the path of reform, construction and development."

In 2013 Sisi as army chief led the overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Mursi, Egypt's first democratically elected president. Sisi became president in 2014, and has overseen a broad crackdown on political dissent.

The president and his supporters say security measures have restored stability after post-uprising turmoil.

(Reporting by Cairo newsroom, Editing by William Maclean)

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