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Egyptian artists, actors rally in support of comedian Adel Imam

'Front for Creativity' stages rally outside Agouza courtroom against iconic comedian's 3-year jail sentence – since overturned – for 'defaming religion'

Menna Taher, Thursday 26 Apr 2012
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A handful of Egyptian artists, actors and filmmakers gathered outside an Agouza court Thursday to protest a three-month jail sentence given to prominent Egyptian comedian Adel Imam for "defaming religion" and to show solidarity with filmmakers facing similar charges.

The case against Imam had initially stoked fears about the future of creative freedoms in Egypt, before being thrown out following an appeal by the actor.

Outside the court building, members of Egypt’s "Front for Creativity" held banners condemning the sentence against Imam and supporting artistic freedoms.

"This is a joke," said film editor and front member Wallaa Saada. "It's the result of the ruling military council's allowing religious movements to form political parties.”

Islam El-Rifai, creator of a Facebook page launched in solidarity with Imam, called the sentence "an insult to Egyptian public opinion."

One student of fine arts, also present at the protest, chimed in: "I'm against the sentence [against Imam], but I believe Egypt is facing far more pressing problems."

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