Prominent Cartoonist Arrested In Egypt


5 years after the fall of President Hosni Mubarak, Egypt still seems to be in a pit of turmoil. Even the Freedom House rates it as Not Free.

An Egyptian cartoonist whose work is mostly satirical has been arrested by the government on the grounds of “drawing anti regime cartoons” and also running an unlicensed website as claimed by the country’s Interior Ministry.

The ministry which runs the country’s police force raided the Egyptian News network on Sunday after investigation showed that it was publishing news without a valid license. The Al-Ahram newspaper reported that he was also arrested for running his own website without approval from the ministry of Telecommunications, and for having pirated copies of software in his possession.

SEE ALSO: Five Year Anniversary– Egypt remembers The Arab Spring

The man, Islam Gawish is popularly known for publishing cartoons that deal with social injustices. He also runs a Facebook page called El-Warka (meaning The Paper) where he posts his drawings. The page has over 1 million likes. His art comes as controversial to the Egyptian government which seeks to subdue freedom of expression in Egypt.

The government has arrested several journalists, even sending some to exile. A few days before Gawish’s arrest, some media personalities were arrested for mockingly handing policemen balloons that were shaped as condoms during the anniversary of the Tahrir square revolution.

Although the government has been unable to totally contain freedom of expressions on the internet, it has made various prosecutions that should serve as a warning to Egyptian internet users.

Egyptians continue to protest their waning freedom. Fans of gawish’s art have also taken to facebook and other media platforms to show their solidarity by sending prayers and hopes for his release.

EuroMed Rights, along with other organisations, is launching the Human Rights Behind Bars in Egypt Campaign. By signing their petition to the Egyptian and other world governments/notable organisations, you would be facilitating the quick release of the Human rights activists who have been wrongly imprisoned.

SEE ALSO: Five Year Anniversary– Egypt remembers The Arab Spring