Bassem Youssef launches campaign for detainees, forced disappearance victims

Famous Egyptian satirist Bassem Youssef launched a campaign ahead of the fifth anniversary of the January 25 revolution on Twitter to shed light on cases of forced disappearance in Egypt.
Youssef used a hashtag that went viral on social networking websites, "I participated in the January revolution", to launch his campaign.
"A hashtag I hope we use in a different way to remember the people who have been imprisoned because of the revolution," he wrote using  # I_participated_in_the_January_revolution.
"I will use this account in the coming few days to publish the stories of those unjustly detained, those who were forcibly disappeared and those detained over strange charges. It's our duty to remember all of them whether they are famous or not," he wrote.
Youssef called on social networking users to use the hashtag to spread detailed stories of the detainees. 
Youssef launched another hashtag for forcibly disappeared people specifically dubbed "Remember them". He called for publishing their stories in detail, rather than just mention their names. 
The campaign will continue for three days, according to Youssef.
Many users, on the other hand, have criticized Youssef's campaign for not including police and army victims.
Youssef responded to criticism saying: "The army martyrs are appreciated. But what does this have to do with abducted and detained people? Those detained have not killed (the army victims) and their detention will not bring the right of martyrs back".
Youssef has recently said he will not return to show business unless he does so on an Egypt-based channel.
“There have been numerous offers from European and American channels to screen 'El-Bernameg', but I've refused them. The show belongs to Egypt and will only be screened in Egypt,” Youssef said in an interview Tuesday with MBC 1, a channel that belongs to the Dubai-based MBC network that hosted his show back in 2014.
“I did not escape, I have been strolling abroad for a year,” said Youssef, commenting on his departure from Egypt following the cancelation of his program.
Youssef's show was suspended a few weeks prior to the 2014 presidential elections, which saw the election of Abdel Fattah al-Sisi as head of the country. The move was viewed as an act of censorship by the channel, as the show used to deliver weekly bits of political sarcasm on the patriotic fervor that accompanied Sisi’s ascension to power.
Youssef was also objected to by supporters of former President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood over the show's critical content prior to Morsi’s ouster.
Youssef, a former heart surgeon, told MBC1 he currently does not work in medicine or media. “I might be waiting for the right time to come back. There are many things I am doing right now but I will not talk about them until they are finished,” he said.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm

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