Egyptian authorities have decided to release 3 young Egyptian online content creators known as “Ghalaba Cleanse”, who were arrested on charges of spreading fake news, after they posted a song mocking recent price hikes, according to a report. Egyptian human rights organization. .
And the “Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights” posted on its website on Sunday that the State Security Prosecutor’s Office “decided on Saturday to release the cynical defendants known as Zafaa Al Ghalaba.”
In March, the group had posted a video clip on the app Tik Tok mocking high food prices, in which the group members used household tools to look like musical instruments and swapped romantic song lyrics with words that made fun of of high food prices. .
Recently, Egyptians resorted to discounting their savings to face the current wave of inflation after the price index rose 12.1%, which is the highest rate in three years, and was triggered by the Central Bank’s decision to devalue the local currency by about 18%. against the US dollar.
The Russian invasion of Ukraine at the end of last February also caused global food and fuel prices to rise.
According to the Egyptian Initiative, “the three youths voluntarily went to the State Security headquarters in Assiut Governorate and were arrested. They were brought before the Supreme State Security Prosecutor’s Office in Cairo on April 18 and 19, when the prosecution accused them of joining a terrorist group and spreading false news.”
Egypt is witnessing a wave of releases recently, as 41 prisoners of conscience and politicians, who had been in pre-trial detention, were released.
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi reformed the presidential pardons committee last month, raising expectations of the release of large numbers of prisoners of conscience.
In late April, El-Sisi pardoned Egyptian journalist Hossam Mounes, who was jailed for “spreading false news.”
Earlier this month, the Egyptian Journalists’ Union announced the release of three journalists from pre-trial detention.
Human rights organizations estimate the number of political prisoners in Egypt at around 60,000, but Sisi always denies this.
And last week, Reporters Without Borders published the World Press Freedom Index for 2022, and Egypt ranked 168th out of 180 countries, down two places from last year.