Egypt arrests blogger known for YouTube videos

Media freedom in Egypt is heavily restricted. (AFP pic)

CAIRO: An Egyptian blogger famed for his satirical videos on YouTube and Facebook has been arrested, his family said on Monday.

Shadi Abuzeid was detained at home on Sunday, his sister Rula said.

“Lawyers told us that Shadi was currently held by the state security prosecution in Cairo and that he should be interrogated,” she said.

His lawyer Azza Sleiman said he was “taken in for questioning early on Sunday morning”.

On his YouTube channel “Rich Content” and his Facebook page, Abuzeid’s videos have been viewed tens of thousands of times.

One video created a particular buzz in 2016 around the country’s police day, which marks the anniversary of the 2011 ousting of former dictator Hosni Mubarak.

In the video, Abuzeid can be seen offering police officers posted in Tahrir Square, the home of the revolution, balloons made from condoms.

“For the police, of the Egyptian youth – 25 January” was written across the balloons.

The video blogger was also part of a satirical show Abla Fahita, which was recently suspended by the authorities.

Abuzeid’s arrest follows that last week of Sherif Gaber, a blogger who was detained in 2013 and accused of promoting atheism.

Writing on Twitter in April, Gaber said “some Muslim lawyers” filed a complaint against him with the attorney general.

Seven years after the 2011 revolution, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is accused of silencing any opposition to his rule.