Young Egyptian Filmmaker Who Mocked the President Dies in Prison

         Since 1993, UNESCO has established World Press Freedom Day on May 3rd of every year. According to the organization, it is “a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to evaluate press freedom around the world, to defend the media from attacks on their independence and to pay tribute to journalists who have lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.”
In 2018, Shady Habash a creative and talented filmmaker was arrested in Egypt. His crime? Participating in making a clip video to a music criticizing President Abdel Fattah al-Sissi. Thousands of other young people of his age, political activists raising their voices to criticize abuse of power by the government, are unfairly placed in pre-trial detention. Shady was charged with spreading fake news and belonging to an illegal organization. After more than two years in prison, he lost his life on May 2nd, while he was eternally awaiting his trial. He died all alone, in a prison cell in Cairo after a night of agony. May his soul Rest in Peace.
This reveals a much bigger issue that we are still facing in many countries worldwide. Journalists, activists, and sometimes even artists, are often put at risk for what is a human right entitled in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. These voices of freedom also face risks of kidnapping, blackmailing, or even death threats on a regular basis simply for speaking the truth. With a world filled with real “fake news”, we need more than ever journalists or activists speaking the truth and enlightening us from everything that is being hidden from us.

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