Freedom Of Speech Concerns In Egypt As Lawsuit Filed Against Satirical Puppet Show
“It is hard for power to enjoy or incorporate humour and satire in its system of control.” – Dario Fo
A popular Egyptian TV show has become the latest victim of Samir Sabry, a Cairo lawyer well known for launching a series of controversial lawsuit claims. Sabry has felt compelled to file against Abla Fahita, which features an eponymous puppet that attacks the government and the arrest of opposition figures, often using sexual innuendo.
In the case, which will be heard in the Court of Administrative Justice on 26 June by judge Ahmed al-Shazly, Sabry accuses the program of “violating public morality” and claims the puppet “runs contrary to the values and ethics of Egypt”.
JIM News reports that Sabry believes the mocking of public figures by the puppet is highly offensive, and such figures deserve more respect. The puppet has said on the show in the past that “everything has become a taboo in Egypt nowadays, and censorship has reached an alarming point”.
Founder of the Quilliam Foundation in the UK Maajid Nawaz, has said in the past, “Satire is, by definition, offensive. It is meant to make us feel uncomfortable. It is meant to make us scratch our heads, think, do a double take, and then think again.”