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Artists demand lawyer accusing Aboul-Naga of treason be disbarred

Prominent actor Khaled Aboul-Naga recently criticised President El-Sisi's record on confronting militants, prompting a lawsuit to be filed accusing him of treason and disturbing social peace

Ahram Online , Monday 17 Nov 2014
Egypt
Khaled Aboul-Naga at the opening of the 36th Cairo International Film Festival (Photo: Nader Osama)
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A group of Egyptian filmmakers and writers signed a petition Monday demanding that lawyer Samir Sabri, who has accused prominent actor Khaled Aboul-Naga of high treason and disrupting social peace, be disbarred.
 
Sabri filed a complaint at the General Prosecutor's Office Sunday, accusing Aboul-Naga after the actor made comments on the sidelines of the Cairo International Film Festival, where two of his films were being screened.
 
Aboul-Naga heaped criticism on Egypt's authorities in a festival presser, accusing President Abdel-Fattah El-Sisi of failing to defeat terrorism and saying it is likely Egyptians would call for his departure soon.
 
He also criticised the controversial protest law and the recent displacement of Sinai residents to create a military buffer zone with Gaza.
 
"The signatories of this petition announce their solidarity with the right of ... Aboul-Naga to express his opinion without being terrorised by people appointing themselves guardians of Egyptian patriotism," the petition signed Monday states.
 
The petition underlines the constitutional right of freedom of expression and demanded Sabri be disbarred on the basis that he threatened a constitutional right.
 
Sabri is known for a long list of legal complaints against oppositionists.
 
Prominent television hosts that support President El-Sisi also attacked Aboul-Naga Sunday.
 
Aboul-Naga responded with a warning: "My right to sue every media body or others who are a part of the campaign against me for my rightful opinion on the failure of El-Sisi is reserved," he said.
 
A Twitter hashtag was launched to support the actor.
 
The 48-year-old Aboul-Naga is featured in two films at the Cairo International Film Festival: Eyes of a Thief by Najwa Najjar, and Decor by Ahmad Abdalla. 
 
Aboul-Naga played an active role in both the January 25 Revolution that toppled Hosni Mubarak, and the 30 June 2013 movement that brought down the Muslim Brotherhood regime.
 
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Gamal
16-12-2014 06:47am
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Enough is enough!!
I did not know Aboul Naga until I read in the news of him criticizing the Government and Sisi. He is free to say whatever he wants but Why would the media give weight to what he says? and would anyone care and take legal action against him. To me , it sounds that he is saying what he is saying to get known locally and internationally. What qualifications he has to criticize the security operation in Sinai. If he knows better why does not he go to Sinai and investigate the situation and give advise to Sisi. I think this blown out of nothing and it keeps us engaged in side issues and overlook other important issue in building our countries. And who is this Sabri who seems to have too much time to go from one legal action to another. Enough is enough, wake up everyone build our country and watch your enemies, there plenty of them waiting for the right moment to finish Egypt by the hands of Egyptians (God Forbid).
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Sam Enslow
18-11-2014 12:32pm
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Question
Who are these lawyers and individuals who bring these charges against others for insulting the president, treason, etc? What gives them the standing to bring such charges? I would think if President al-Sisi is insulted (and he would be the only one to know this), he would be the one to bring charges. The other matters would appear to be crimes against the state, and when appropriate the State would bring charges. When iddividuals without responsibility, bring such cases to court, it appears a form of legal blackmail and appears that they are acting on behalf of 'hidden hands'.
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ayman
18-11-2014 10:23am
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I have a right to live peacefully
He has a right to express his opinion, as long as it is not against the rights of the public (stability, security etc.), even if the majority of the people are currently against it. I find it rash though to deem the recently started operations against terrorism a failure. Terrorism is not easily eradicated, Al-Qaeda is still operational after more than a decade of the US targeting it. An international coalition is fighting IS in Iraq and it is still there, actually they just started circulation of their new currency! As for the relocation of Sinai families, ask yourself why would anyone build his house less than 1KM near the border? These are not innocents. As for the law organizing protests, most western countries has that law, live with it, no one will impose foreign funded weekly riots on us and call it protesting.
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