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22-year-old film-maker dies in Egyptian jail after two years behind bars without trial

A YOUNG artist detained without trial in Egypt for two years for making a film mocking President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi has died in prison, his lawyers say.

Shady Habash, who was just 22, died on Saturday in Cairo’s Tora prison complex. Lawyer Ahmed el-Khwaga said the cause of death was not known. Friends published a letter he wrote from prison last October in which he said he was “going mad or dying slowly because you’ve been thrown in a room two years ago and forgotten.”

Rights lawyer Khaled Ali said he ought to have been released two months ago, having served the maximum jail time pending investigation.

Mr Habash was arrested in March 2018 for directing a music video by Ramy Essam, a musician exiled in Sweden, that attacked corruption and made fun of General Sissi. The song’s writer Galal el-Behairy got three years in prison for “insulting the security forces” and “disseminating false news.”

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