Egypt releases satirist after two years in jail

CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian activist and satirist detained for more than two years has been released, his family has announced.

Shady Abu Zeid was arrested in May 2018 and held in pre-trial detention over charges of “membership of a banned group” and “disseminating false news”, according to rights group Amnesty International. “Shady was released under judicial supervision, and is now at home with us,” his sister Rola Abu Zeid wrote on Facebook on Saturday.

The Cairo-based Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression (AFTE) said a court specialising in terrorism made the decision on October 10. Pre-trial detention can last up to two years under Egyptian law, but the period is often extended.

Abu Zeid was part of a satirical television talk show before the authorities halted its broadcast, and he also posted videos on social media.