Three human rights workers were freed last Thursday after being detained and slapped with terrorism-related charges in November.
Since three well-known human rights figures, members of the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR), were released last week in Egypt, quite a few in the country have raved and stormed over Hollywood actress Scarlett Johansson’s role in the case and the way it was resolved.
Four EIPR representatives were arrested last month after the organisation hosted guests from 13 western countries to discuss human rights issues in today’s Egypt, with all of them facing accusations of terrorism and misinformation. One of them, Patrick Zaki, remains in custody.
The developments have since caused a huge response, including in the UN, among international rights groups, and celebrities like Johansson and her Hollywood colleague Emma Thompson.
On 1 December, as part of an instant global backlash against the crackdown on EIPR, Johansson posted a video in which she described the detainees as “the best of us” and calling Cairo to drop the “bogus” charges against them.
“In fact, their only crime has been to stand up for the dignity of Egyptians”, she summed up, saying she is “in awe of their bravery”.
Despite her heartfelt calls to stop short of charging and then convicting the human rights activists, striking a chord with many across the world, quite a few in Egypt opposed the actress’ motion, bringing up her Jewish origins and calling her out for her…