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Egyptian actor arrested, labelled a thug by state television

Young Egyptian actor Aly Sobhy was arrested on 9 March, his photo shown on state TV labeling him a thug, to the outrage of his peers

Wael Eskandar, Friday 11 Mar 2011
Picture By Butheina Shalan
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Egyptian actor Aly Sobhy was arrested 9 March 2011 and is being detained by the military.

Sobhy was in Tahrir Square just outside the Egyptian Museum when the military and armed civilians attacked the square. He was arrested outside the museum when he decided to protest other arrests.

Sobhy is being held in a military prison in Hikestep and may face trial in a military court.

Sobhy is a founding member of the team Hala and acted in the Egyptian series Ahl Cairo (People of Cairo) and many other plays. He is interested in street theatre and is also a member of Clowns without Borders.

He more recently was involved in Tamer El-Saeed’s first film The Last Days of the City; art director Salah Marei’s last. He stars alongside international actor Khaled Abdalla (The Kite Runner, Green Zone) who acts in and produces the movie.

“I’ve known Aly for three years now,” says Khaled Abdalla. “He’s full of life. He’s a wonderful comedic actor.”

“We were together during the protests in Tahrir Square. He’s someone who loves his country and he fights for freedom and social justice. He’s a peaceful protester, he’s always been. He’s always been someone who cares about his rights and justice,” says Abdalla.

Egyptian state TV put up Sobhy’s photo and with the label ‘thug’. His arrest has disturbed many of his peers.

Young actress Niveen El-Tony says, “Aly is a talented artist, he’s not a thug.” “He has never been violent, he’s a man of principle and he’s very respectable,” she adds.

“I’m shocked, I’m saddened and I’m hurt. It’s a big question mark over anyone who’s been taken and accused of being a thug,” says Abdalla. “It may turn out to be another case of injustice like that of Amr Abdalla El-Beheiry.”

Amr El-Beheiry was sentenced to five years in prison on 1 March, less than three days after his arrest. Eyewitness testimony maintains that Beheiry was falsely accused. The arrest of Aly Sobhy raises concerns about the recent decision to have those charged with thuggery face execution.

In a note written on Facebook on 27 January, as his last will and testimony, Sobhy wrote, “I discovered that at any time I can be shot with a bullet in the head or I can be beaten to death so I decided to write my will.”

He urged people to go to the streets and demand their rights. “I never imagined that I would go to the streets knowing full well I could be killed at any moment.”

Sobhy’s fate is yet to be determined by the military prosecution.

In his will, Sobhy wrote, “People need to understand that nothing will change without sacrifice.”

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7



aki
13-03-2011 12:43am
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innocent
I knew him and we worked togather and i was wth him on 22 of jan his love to his country made him to be in Tahrer.On that day i asked himif he is going to demonstrate he told me sure i will be there for change
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6



Sobhy
12-03-2011 01:10pm
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Free Sobhy Please.
Video of Ali Sobhy on 2 feb 20110 in Taharir square. http://bit.ly/i5BbmG
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5



Sobhy
12-03-2011 12:38pm
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Free Sobhy Please.
Video of Ali Sobhy on 2 feb 20110 in Taharir square. http://bit.ly/i5BbmG
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4



Donald Benson
12-03-2011 09:16am
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Aly Sobhy
Aly was exercising his right as a citizen. Until human rights organizations highlight such cases other citizens like Aly will be unlawfully arrested and unjustly tried. It seems that the state TV has not changed. Until the State of Emergency is abolished citizens will not get their right to justice. We want justice for Aly and for all those courageous enough to challenge any form of injustice.
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3



Sami
11-03-2011 08:20pm
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Innocent before being proven guilty
Innocent before being proven guilty. That is how a civilised democracy works.
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Muna El Masry
11-03-2011 03:16pm
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Ali Sobhy
TV should apologise to Ali. TV has no right to decide who is a thug and who is not unless the TV director decided that to turn its role to become court and judge. Ali is NOT a thug but the masses of Egyptians who don’t know him, may believe the TV lies. It is bad enough that he is detained without reason (unless loving your country is a crime), now his name is being deliberately tarnished. Wake up Egyptian TV and come to live in new Egypt rather than the remote planet that you are in now. Stop ignoring the revolution and stop the subtle way of attacking it. Stop apathy and stop lying and behave decently. Behave like an Egyptian for a change!
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Muna El Masry
11-03-2011 02:19pm
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Ali Sobhy
TV should apologise to Ali. TV has no right to decide who is a thug and who is not unless the TV director decided that to turn its role to become court and judge. Ali is NOT a thug but the masses of Egyptians who don’t know him, may believe the TV lies. It is bad enough that he is detained without reason (unless loving your country is a crime), now his name is being deliberately tarnished. Wake up Egyptian TV and come to live in new Egypt rather than the remote planet that you are in now. Stop ignoring the revolution and stop the subtle way of attacking it. Stop apathy and stop lying and behave decently. Behave like an Egyptian for a change!
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