Egyptian artists join campaign in solidarity with arrested Street Children troupe

Ahram Online , Thursday 12 May 2016

Following the detention of members of the Street Children performance group, social media users launched a campaign posting photos of themselves taking selfies with their camera phones

Khaled Abol Naga
Khaled Abol Naga (Photo: Khaled Abol Naga's Facebook page)

The hashtag #الحرية_لأطفال_الشوارع  ((Freedom for Street Children,) has spread like wildfire on Facebook and Twitter with users posting photos of themselves taking selfies with their phone cameras.

With many asking “Does This Camera Phone Scare You,” the social media users have demanded the release of the arrested Street Children troupe members.  

Comedian Bassem Youssef, actor Amr Waked and Khaled Abol Naga, as well as Abla Fahita, a popular Egyptian puppet character, are among artists who posted selfies with their phone cameras on Facebook and Twitter as part of the social media campaign.

In addition, Youssef and Abol Naga released a short Facebook video asking the government to release the arrested youth. 

The campaign follows the 15-day detention of four members of the “Street Children” satirical troupe pending investigation. The street performance troupe was accused of using YouTube to call for “terrorist crimes.”

They are also being investigated for allegedly "inciting protests that aim to disrupt peace and security and cause violent crimes against state institutions."

The artists were arrested on Monday and are being held at Cairo's Sayeda Zeinab police station.

The six-member performance group gained popularity among youths for their videos that mock societal norms as well as the discourse of government officials and supporters.

The troupe released their first video in January 2016. Their last video was another satirical piece titled "Sisi is my president."     

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