Egypt frees cartoonist held for lampooning Sisi regime


The Egyptian authorities released Monday a prominent cartoonist one day after he was detained for criticizing the regime of President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi.

Islam Gawish, 26, was released without charge by the prosecution authorities, according to local media.

Gawish’s Facebook page, which has some 1.6 million followers, confirmed the young satirist’s release.

Gawish was detained Sunday for operating an “unlicensed” website, prompting a storm of popular criticism.

Shortly afterward, several Egyptian opposition parties and public figures issued a joint statement calling for the cartoonist’s immediate release.

“Gawish’s arrest is part of a systematic policy aimed at restricting freedom of opinion and expression,” the statement read.

Egypt has been racked by political turmoil since the military unseated Mohamed Morsi — the country’s first freely elected president — in a 2013 military coup.

In recent months, security forces have detained several of the government’s detractors in a move seen by rights groups as an effort to silence all criticism of the ruling regime.


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