'Emily in Paris' star William Abadie wishes jailed Egyptian activist happy birthday

'Emily in Paris' star William Abadie wishes jailed Egyptian activist happy birthday
'I'm thinking of you,' actor William Abadie said in the video message to jailed human rights advocate Karim Ennarah.
2 min read
02 December, 2020
William Abadie stars at perfumer Antoine in 'Emily in Paris' [Netflix]
An international campaign to secure the release of detained Egyptian rights advocate Karim Ennarah has been joined by an unlikely ally - Antoine from Netflix hit "Emily in Paris".

French actor William Abadie sent happy birthday wishes to Ennarah, who was arrested last month alongside two of his Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) colleagues.

"We're thinking of you. I'm thinking of you," Abadie said in the video message shared by the Free Karim campaign on Twitter.

"I wanted to wish you a strong birthday, and a happy birthday. The good news is that you've got a lot of people that are fighting for you and that you've got a group of amazing friends - that's something to be grateful for," the Netflix star continued.

"Stay strong and I'll see you soon," Abadie added.

Read more: Bracing for the Biden era, Egypt's Sisi intensifies brazen crackdown on human rights

The French actor may seem like an unlikely figure to join the Free Karim campaign but Ennarah is said to be a "superfan" of "Emily in Paris", according to the campaign's Twitter account.

The Egyptian activist turned 37 in prison on Tuesday.

Abadie is not the only actor to have called attention to Ennarah's case.

"Avengers" star Scarlett Johansson also shared a video message urging Cairo authorities to release executive director of the EIPR Gasser Abdel-Razek, criminal justice director Ennarah, and office manager Mohammed Basheer.

She also called for the release of Patrick George Zaki, a researcher for the group who was arrested in February.

"Speaking out loud has become dangerous today in Egypt," Johansson said. "These men spent their lives fighting injustice and now he is imprisoned behind bars. All of them are facing enough false charges to put them in prison for years."

"The truth is that their only crime is standing up to defend the dignity of Egyptians," she added.

British comedian Stephen Fry and actors Emma Thompson, Joseph Fiennes, Bill Nighy and Carey Mulligan also shared messages in support of Ennarah.

Abdel-Razek, Basheer and Ennarah were arrested in a sweeping crackdown last month and have since been interrogated about their criminal justice activities, including work published in November about the alarming rise in executions in Egypt.

The arrests have been slammed by international rights groups as a "frightening escalation" of Cairo's crackdown on civil society.

Several European countries, the US and UN have also condemned the detention of the EIPR members.

Rights groups estimate that some 60,000 detainees in Egypt are political prisoners.

These include secular activists, journalists, lawyers, academics and Islamists arrested in a sweeping crackdown on dissent under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Egypt has repeatedly denied accusations of human rights violations.

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