FJP Calls for Release of Filmmaker, Rejects Shafiq Cronies’ Attack on Freedom of Opinion

FJP Calls for Release of Filmmaker, Rejects Shafiq Cronies’ Attack on Freedom of Opinion

Dr. Mohamed Saad Eliwa, Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) leader, demanded the release of young movie producer Ashraf Nabil and respect for his rights, freedoms and points of view.

Film producer Nabil Ashraf and his camera crew were assaulted by supporters of the runoff candidate Ahmed Shafiq during the filming of a movie about awareness campaigns against the remnants of the old regime, in a Helwan street (a southern suburb of Cairo).

The producer’s attackers then filed a complaint against him with the Police, upon which he was promptly arrested, interrogated, charged with insulting and vilifying a presidential candidate, and his film documents and materials confiscated, amid news of a potential imprisonment sentence soon.

In a statement to Ikhwanweb, Dr. Eliwa said: "We support freedom of opinion, thought and creativity. What happened is a bad beginning for General Shafiq’s regime and the security services. Although Shafiq claimed he supports creativity, this is a practical response from him, through his supporters. It means that no matter how he tries to look good, the facts will belie that completely.

"We are witnessing the ruling Military Council and the Egyptian government stumble once again. Although they announced and reiterated that elections will be free and fair, there is an unmistakable atmosphere of abuse as obvious from the attack on producer Ashraf Nabil’s freedom. Unfortunately, it seems the security services in Egypt are still taking the same approach as they did under the rule of ousted president Mubarak."

Ashraf Nabil is an independent film producer. He is not affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood in any way. He is a member of the ‘Idea’ team, and member of the ‘Union of Revolutionary Artists’.

The last film produced by Nabil’s team was entitled ‘Do the right thing, Hamdi’ which advocated the election of the candidate of the revolution and avoidance of the candidate of the old regime leftovers.

Producer Ashraf Nabil won the award for best film at the American Islamic Congress Festival for his movie entitled ‘Without Words’ which dealt with the subject of suppression of freedom of opinion.

Nabil also acted in several short films and plays aimed at sublime values. Those included ‘Two Sisters’ a movie about the events of Egypt and Algeria, and the play ‘Living in a state’ presented at universities before the revolution, about opposition to the former regime.

The prosecution service has decided to detain Nabil in custody for four more days pending investigation. His lawyer says the prosecutor’s decision is primarily political, since the charge does not warrant such detention.