Egyptian court orders detention of poet for criticizing price hikes

25

An Egyptian court has ordered the detention of a poet for 15 days pending investigations after the Public Prosecution Office charged him with spreading false news and inciting violence over posts criticizing price hikes on Facebook. Lawyer Mohamed Ramadan said a security force arrested his client, Mohamed Farid, from his home last Monday. He added that the National Security investigations included 12 Facebook posts by Farid about the high inflation rates in the country. According to his lawyer, Farid is a poet and lyricist who suffers from cirrhosis and immunodeficiency.

On Tuesday, the Egyptian Ministry of Interior issued a statement stating that it had arrested a person named Mohamed El-Fatla after he published a video saying that he had opened a butcher shop to sell meat in instalments, in a mockery of the massive rise in meat prices in the country. The ministry added that it had taken legal measures against the man. The price of a kilogram of meat recently exceeded 300 Egyptian pounds.

Two weeks ago, the Public Prosecution ordered the imprisonment of three people after they posted a satirical clip on TikTok about prison conditions in the country. In April 2022, security forces arrested three for posting satirical political videos criticizing high prices and high inflation rates on social media. The prosecution charged the defendants with spreading false news and misusing social media.