Egypt releases three detained over satirical TikTok song

AFP

3 min read
The TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office in Culver City, California, in the United States, on August 27, 2020.
MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / AFPThe TikTok logo is displayed outside a TikTok office in Culver City, California, in the United States, on August 27, 2020.

Rights groups estimate that some 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egypt

Egypt released three social media users who were detained after posting a satirical song on TikTok about rampant inflation in the country, rights groups said Sunday.

In March, the group posted a satirical video on TikTok, miming instruments with household items and parodying a romantic song, substituting the lyrics to bemoan soaring food prices.

The three comedians were summoned by state security in Assiut, south of Cairo, on March 31, according to the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR).

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EIPR said they appeared before the Cairo prosecutor on April 18-19 "when they were accused of belonging to a terrorist organization and spreading false news."

Such allegations are routinely leveled against dissidents in Egypt.

Egypt's annual inflation rate hit 12.1 percent in March, driven by high oil and food prices. Analysts fear prices could spike further due to the impact of the war in Ukraine on the global wheat supply. 

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Rights groups estimate that some 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egypt.

President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reactivated the dormant Presidential Pardon Committee last month, and Egypt on April 24 released 41 political opponents from provisional detention. 

Three days later, officials announced that Sisi pardoned 3,273 prisoners, including prominent journalist Hossam Moniss.

Last week, Reporters without Borders released its 2022 World Press Freedom Index, ranking Egypt 168 out of 180 countries, down two spots from last year's score of 166.

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