TAGS: Individuals at Risk, Urgent Action Network • Freedom of Expression, Prisoners of Conscience • Egypt, Middle East and North Africa •

Urgent Action Victory! Musician Released on Probation (Egypt: UA 27.19)

March 27, 2020

On 13 May 2019, 33-year-old musician Rami Sidky was released on probation after 374 days of pre-trial detention. Rami was detained on 5 May 2018 in connection with a song criticizing president Abdelfatah al-Sisi. According to his lawyer, he neither wrote, nor produced, nor performed the satirical song.

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NO FURTHER ACTION IS REQUESTED. MANY THANKS TO ALL WHO SENT APPEALS.

On 13 May 2019, 33-year-old musician Rami Sidky was released on probation after 374 days of pre-trial detention. Rami was detained on 5 May 2018 in connection with a song criticizing president Abdelfatah al-Sisi. According to his lawyer, he neither wrote, nor produced, nor performed the satirical song.

Egyptian security forces arrested Rami Sidky at Cairo International Airport on 5 May 2018 and held him incommunicado for more than 24 hours, during which they told his family he never left the airport. Sidky was held in pre-trial detention in Tora Investigation Prison.

He was detained in connection with a satirical music video, “Balaha,” which had gone viral ahead of the March 2018 presidential elections and appeared to poke fun at President al-Sisi. According to his lawyer, Rami Sidky took no part in writing, producing or performing the “Balaha” song. The authorities had already detained the alleged author of the lyrics in March 2018, along with four other individuals accused of involvement in the track production.

Amnesty International found the song devoid of incitement to violence or hatred and therefore falling under the protection of the right to freedom of expression.

Amnesty International considered Sidky’s detention to be arbitrary, the charges he and his co-defendants faced in case 480/2018 to be unfounded, and the entire case to be trumped up.

Amnesty International sections and supporters signed a petition for Rami Sidky’s release, met with Egyptians embassy officials and sent him support letters through his lawyer.

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