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.