Egyptians Are Using Selfies To Send A Powerful Message About Government Censorship

"Does a mobile phone camera shake you?"

Thousands of Egyptian citizens are proving that selfies are more than just fun — they can also send an important political message. In response to crackdowns on political dissent, recent social media posts are asking the government, "Does a mobile phone camera shake you?"

The protest was sparked by an incident earlier this week in which five members of a satirical group called Atfal al-Shawarea (Street Children) were arrested for mocking the country's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi in a selfie-style video. The group members are reportedly being investigated for "inciting protests."


Using the hashtag "Freedom for Street Children," everyday citizens and public figures alike are posting mirror selfies to show solidarity with the group and demand their release. Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga and novelist Ahdaf Soueif are among those participating in the protest.

This arrest is just one of many controversial censorship measures Egypt has taken recently. For example, last month more than 1,200 people were detained in Cairo for protesting President el-Sisi's decision to give Saudi Arabia control of two Red Sea islands. There has also been outcry over the imprisonment of novelist Ahmed Naji, who was charged earlier this year with public indecency for writing "sexually explicit" scenes in his novel Istikhdam al-Hayat (Using Life).

The Egyptian people are making it clear that they won't be silenced.


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