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Lawsuit after drama series 'unintentionally' calls Sisi a traitor Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

Lawsuit after drama series 'unintentionally' calls Sisi a traitor

The graffiti in the background described Sisi as a traitor [Twitter]

Date of publication: 12 June, 2017

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An Egyptian lawyer has filed a lawsuit to stop airing a drama series that featured a scene with graffiti in the background describing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a "traitor".

An Egyptian lawyer has filed a lawsuit to stop airing a Ramadan TV series that he said offended the president.

Samir Sabry filed the complaint to the general prosecutor after episode 14 of La Totfe al-Shams [Don't let the sun set] featured a scene with graffiti in the background describing President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as a "traitor".

Sabry claims that the director showed the offensive graffiti on purpose to highlight words used by the Muslim Brotherhood group, which was banned and declared a terrorist organisation after a military coup overthrew Islamist President Mohamed Morsi in 2013.

He also claimed the director deliberately cast Ahmed Malek for the character that appears in the scene because the young actor had previously "insulted the police" in a prank last year, when he distributed inflated condoms to police forces securing Tahrir Square on the fifth anniversary of the 25 January revolution.

Malek and his fellow prankster pretended to greet the police conscripts, who had no idea what the balloons were made of, hugging and kissing them to express gratitude for "protecting the people".

Egypt's actors syndicate punished Malek, who was 20 years old at the time, by revoking his permit, and he was later forced to issue an apology in order to resolve the issue.

In addition to calling for the suspension of the TV show, Sabry demanded the referral of the director to trial on the charge of "offending the president".

Screenshots of the controversial scene have gone viral on social media with various reactions, prompting the production company to issue an apology for the "unintended mistake".

CBC, the channel that airs the show, removed the episode from its YouTube channel and only returned it after cutting the entire scene out.

Sisi has been widely criticised and dubbed a "traitor" for approving the handover of two Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia, a move described by critics as tantamount to high treason.

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