Egypt actors' syndicate suspends actor for distributing condom balloons to police

Menna Alaa El-Din , Tuesday 26 Jan 2016

Ahmed Malek
Still from G4 film of Ahmed Malek

Head of Egypt's actors syndicate Ashraf Zaki said that the syndicate decided on Tuesday to suspend an Egyptian actor's permit after a video of him and his friend 'insulting the police' went viral on social media.

Ahmed Malek, a 20-year-old aspiring actor, was suspended after a video showing him and his friend, satire show Abla Fahita reporter Shady AbuZaid, distributing inflated condoms to police forces in Tahrir Square.

The video sparked controversy online, with pro police circles calling for the arrest of the two young men, with other circles defending them. However, the Cairo Security Directorate refuted news of their arrest until now.

The video was said to be 'insulting to the police' after Malek and AbuZaid distributed 'condoms that were blown up as balloons' to police forces in Tahrir Square, during a pro police protest during the fifth anniversary of the 25 January revolution.

Zaki said that Malek was going to be referred to investigation, adding that although Malek was not a syndicate member, he still acquired a permit from the syndicate.

Following his suspension, Malek posted an apology on his Facebook page.

"I apologize to everyone who saw the video as offensive, and especially to the police. The video indeed has some encroachments that I didn't expect to be shared outside my circle of friends. I'm only 20 and at such an age, reckless ideas always precede rational thinking…I regret such moments, and I tried to delete the video but it went viral before I could save the situation," Malek wrote.

Malek said that he was upset that his video, which was created due to his frustration five years after the revolution, would be used to 'defame the image of revolutionaries and the revolution', before apologizing again.

Pictures of AbuZaid and Malek while injured due to birdshots by the police during the revolution went viral online, asking if those who injured them five years ago were held accountable for their doings, and why should the two young people be punished for a mere joke.

AbuZaid has not yet commented on the incident.

Several complaints have been filed to the prosecution against AbuZaid and Malek, including a complaint to the general prosecution by lawyer Samir Sabry, who is known for his multiple controversial lawsuits that try to put society's morale in order.

According to article 306 (Bis) A from the Egyptian penal code, whoever approaches another person in a public, private, or frequented place; with sexual or lewd subjects, suggestions or allusions; through gestures, words, or actions; by any means including wired and wireless means of communication; shall be punished by incarceration for a period of no less than six months and a fine of no less than three thousand pounds and no more than five thousand pounds, or by one of these penalties.

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