World, Middle East

Egypt confirms young director's death in prison

Shadi Habash arrested in March 2018 after song that criticized president over running for second term went viral

Ibrahim el-Hazin   | 06.05.2020
Egypt confirms young director's death in prison

ISTANBUL 

Egypt on Wednesday confirmed the death of 24-year-old filmmaker and photographer Shadi Habash, who had been jailed since March 2018 over a music clip he directed.

Habash died in Tora Prison in the capital Cairo on Friday, according to the chief public prosecutor's office.

There were no scars or bruises on Habash's body and the prison doctor stated that he had accidentally drunk some alcohol and began experiencing abdominal pain, it said in a statement.

Habash was taken to the prison's clinic due to a loss of consciousness and pulse. Despite many tests, he did not respond to treatment and died, it added.

On Saturday, Egyptian opposition sources said Habash died in a prison in southern Cairo due to deteriorating health.

Several opposition figures on Saturday also confirmed Habash’s death, including former minister Mohamed Mahsoub, legal activist Aya Hijazi and famous Egyptian director Khaled Youssef.

Habash was arrested in March 2018, a month after exiled rock singer Ramy Essam released a satirical song that went viral, famously known as Balaha, that criticized President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi for running for a second term.

Essam said Egyptian State Security Prosecution accused Habash of "spreading false news and joining a terrorist group."

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