Actors union expels two stars for criticizing Egypt in US

Khalid Abol Naga (L) and Amr Waked have been expelled by Egyptian Actors Union. (AFP)
Updated 28 March 2019
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Actors union expels two stars for criticizing Egypt in US

  • The union called their actions “a great betrayal of their homeland and of the Egyptian people
  • Mohamed Abdel Fattah, a member of the union, told Arab News that regardless of his opinion of the actors’ visit to the US, the union had overstepped the mark

CAIRO: The Egyptian Actors Union has cancelled the membership of two prominent former associates — Khalid Abol Naga and Amr Waked — after they attended a session in Washington, DC. criticizing the country’s human rights record. 

The union called their actions “a great betrayal of their homeland and of the Egyptian people … pushing the agenda of conspirators against the security and stability of Egypt.” 

It added that the pair would not act in Egypt again, stressing that it could not accept members it considered traitors.

Waked ridiculed the decision, describing the organization, through his official Twitter account, as “the union of political arts.” Naga said that it was important that the union should not rush to judgements, and that it should have contacted him first to ask for an explanation.

Lawyers on behalf of the organization have filed letters to the Egyptian attorney general’s office against the pair, accusing them of committing acts of treason, incitement against the state and publishing false news.

In an informal session of the US Congress in Washington, Waked called on Egyptian people not to fear the regime. 

He added that he had received threats that he would be arrested if he returned, but that it was his duty to express his opinion on behalf of the Egyptian people.

Mohamed Abdel Fattah, a member of the union, told Arab News that regardless of his opinion of the actors’ visit to the US, the union had overstepped the mark.

“There are hundreds of unemployed actors, but I do not see any activity from them on that, only decisions to persecute colleagues. I am surprised by their interest in political affairs, all the while ignoring the problems of members such as the unsafe environments under which many members work.”

Doubts have also been raised over the legality of the decision, given that it remains unclear whether Waked and Naga were notified of the intention to expel them, or even investigate them before their expulsion, contravening Egyptian law.


Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

Updated 19 July 2019
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Turkey launches air strike on Iraqi Kurdistan after killing of diplomat

  • Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil
  • Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) is suspected to be involved in the killing

ANKARA: Turkey on Thursday launched an air attack on Iraqi Kurdistan in response to the killing of a Turkish diplomat in the region, the country’s defense minister said.
The Turkish vice consul to Iraq’s autonomous Kurdish region was shot dead Wednesday in the local capital Irbil. Police sources said two other people were also killed.
There was no claim of responsibility for the shooting, but many Iraqi experts have pointed to the probability that the Turkish separatist Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), which Ankara considers a terrorist group, was behind the attack.
“Following the evil attack in Irbil, we have launched the most comprehensive air operation on Qandil and dealt a heavy blow to the (PKK) terror organization,” defense minister Hulusi Akar said in a statement.
Targets such as “armaments positions, lodgings, shelters and caves belonging to terrorists” were destroyed.
“Our fight against terror will continue with increasing determination until the last terrorist is neutralized and the blood of our martyrs will be avenged,” he added.
The Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP), which now leads the regional government, enjoys good political and trade relations with Turkey.
But Turkey has been conducting a ground offensive and bombing campaign since May in the mountainous northern region to root out the PKK which has waged an insurgency against the Turkish state since 1984.
Earlier this month, the PKK announced that one of those raids killed senior PKK leader Diyar Gharib Mohammed along with two other fighters.
A spokesman for the PKK’s armed branch denied the group was involved in Wednesday’s shooting.