Satirist Shady AbouZaid was released from prison on Tuesday the 25th of May and has now returned home to his family, according to a post on his Facebook account.
AbouZaid was first arrested in May 2018 on charges of joining an illegal group and spreading false news. However, an order to release him was issued by the Giza Court in 2020. Pursuant to said court order, AbuZaid was released for one month, but was detained again after a successful appeal by prosecutors, according to a statement made by his sister on Facebook.
On the 25th of January, 2016, AbouZaid posted a video featuring the now renowned Egyptian actor Ahmed Malek, where the the two are seen walking around Tahrir Square and handing out inflated condoms to police officers decorated with the phrase “from the youth of Egypt to the police on January 25.”
Just a few hours after it went live, the video generated almost 1.5 million views. A senior officer to lodged a legal complaint against the two men and calling on authorities to prosecute them. Malek instantly apologized and his statement was backed by the Actors’ Syndicate.
AbouZaid, on the other hand, continued to post videos even after the incident, and released a statement emphasizing how the constitution supports his right to “freedom of speech and creativity.”