CAIRO: Twenty-two-year-old student Tamer Azab was released Wednesday from police custody for allegedly defaming advertising mogul Tarek Nour, three days after the prosecution office had issued his release order.
Azab, a student at Misr University for Science and Technology (MUST), was arrested on Oct. 25 for creating a Facebook group accusing Nour of plagiarizing other commercials in promos for his TV channel Al-Qahera Wal Nas (Cairo Centric).
He was kept in custody at Omraneyya police station, reportedly notorious for the mistreatment of detainees.
“I was treated like sh**, Azab told Daily News Egypt. “There was everything, verbal humiliation, beating and no food to eat. You had to pay to eat, he said.
Azab alleges that he saw other detainees being mistreated.
He says once they were made to stand up for more than six hours and were “abused if they made the slightest movement.
“[Right now] I can’t sleep.I wake up screaming and sweating, Azab said.
He is due to receive counseling next week at El Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence. “They said they will help me love the country and have faith in it again because at the moment I really don’t, Azab said.
“There are absolutely no human rights here whatsoever; the term is not even in our dictionary, it is the law of the jungle. Anyone who has a connection will get what he wants and those who don’t are nothing, he added.
The lawsuit Nour filed against Azab has changed from defamation and libel to “disturbing others after a police investigation into the Facebook group “Stolen Promos found no evidence of the prior accusations.
On the group, “Stolen Promos, Azab claims that the promos for Cairo Centric were exact Arabic replicas of other international commercials, adding hyperlinks to the copied commercials.
After creating the group, Azab began receiving email threats from anonymous sources. “I was getting emails saying ‘Tarek Nour will not leave you alone’ and similar notes from unknown addresses which I cannot track down and messages on Facebook, said Azab.
Last August, a legal representative of the channel filed a legal warning in which he accused Azab of defamation and libel against Nour, as well as violating the channel’s intellectual property rights.
“All I did was a group on Facebook simply questioning what was happening. Is this a crime? he said.
Azab is being represented by intellectual property rights lawyer Hossam Lotfy, who is also representing musician Fathy Salama in a similar lawsuit against Tarek Nour.