Shady Abu Zeid, a satirical video blogger, whose satire led him from presenting the most comic and ironic TV show in Egypt to being in prison. He posts satirical videos on social media and was a member of the crew of the satirical and suspended talk show “Abla Fahita”.
Shady’s story with the security forces began on the fifth anniversary of the January 25 revolution (in 2016), when he posted a satirical video in which he appeared, with young actor Ahmed Malek , handing out balloons made of inflated condoms to police personnel in Tahrir Square.
The video sparked a wide debate and went viral on social media. Later Abu Zeid received threats which prompted his family to file a complaint requesting that the Interior Ministry would be obliged to ensure his safety and open an investigation into the threats the blogger received putting his security and personal safety at risk.
In spite of being suspended from “Abla Fahita” TV show- for which he was working as a correspondent- after the video mocking police officers, Abu Zeid continued to post satirical videos through his accounts on social media, some of which included footage of interviews with citizens on the street.
But, according to him, Shady’s clash with the security forces was a little earlier. On 5 December 2012, he was injured from cartouches (gun cartridges) in the demonstrations that took place in front of “Al-Itihadyia Palace” amid clashes with Muslim Brotherhood’s supporters.
Shady is the founder of a campaign called “Harassing the Harassers”, an initiative that decided to take to the streets in public occasions. He used to catch harassers and spray the word “Harasser” using a stencil and black spray on their back to single them out.
During a dawn raid on 6 May 2018, a group of 20 plainclothes security personnel broke into the house of Shady’s family in Hadayek al-Qubba district, arrested the blogger and took him to an unknown location. They refused to inform his family about his whereabouts and prevented his sister from following them by her car.
The security forces smashed some of the house’s items, stole money and seized mobile phones and laptop computers.
On 8 May 2018, Shady appeared before the Supreme State Security Prosecution as a defendant in a case that seems to be formed as part of retaliatory practices to intimidate some of those who hold liberal views; which is case No. 621 of 2018 State Security, along with all opinion cases that involve a number of activists.
The Prosecution faced Shady with some of his belongings relating to the 25 January revolution which he took part in considering it as a charge.
During the probe, Shady said that he no longer practices any political activity since 2016, when he joined the military service that ended in mid-2017.
“Abu Zeid” added that all his previous practices were not part of any political activity; rather, they came in a comic framework that has nothing to do with any stance taken against any particular group.
And in an unusual precedent, the Prosecution faced Shady with a sum of money (EGP 15,000 and $ 300) which he admits it is part of his own property.
Shady is currently facing charges of joining a group established contrary to the provisions of the law and the constitution that aims at disrupting state institutors and preventing them from carrying out their duty, and spreading false news that would harm the country’s national security.
Apart from the case No. 621, Shady is being tried before Qasr al-Nil Misdemeanor Court pending another case, in which he faces charges including insulting judicial officers using hand gestures.
And during its last hearing convened on 14 July 2018, the court adjourned case No. 1088 of 2018 Qasr al-Nil Misdemeanors for the September 8 hearing, for documents and memos.
In this case, Shady is accused of offending one of the judicial officers in charge of public service while on duty using hand gestures, while verbally insulting another one.