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Video of men giving police condom balloons goes viral

By Associated Press in Cairo | China Daily | Updated: 2016-01-28 08:08

A video showing a reporter and an actor handing Egyptian policemen condom balloons on the fifth anniversary of the 2011 uprising received more than 1 million views online but could land the min jail.

The video was filmed on Monday, national Police Day, and the anniversary of the uprising that toppled former president Hosni Mubarak. The revolt was largely inspired by anger at police brutality.

The video, which has been shared 15,000 times on Facebook, showed the two men in their early 20s laughing as they unwrap and inflate condoms. "From the youth of Egypt to the police," was written on the balloons.

The video later showed them in Tahrir Square-birthplace of the 2011 uprising - handing the balloons to unwitting police conscripts.

Tahrir was virtually empty on Monday except for several dozen supporters of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sisi, the former general who overthrew an Islamist president in 2013.

The two men in the video actor Ahmed Malek and reporter Shady Hussein, who works for a satirical program - mimicked the Sisi supporters, waving Egyptian flags, kissing the ground and shouting "long live Egypt."

Prosecutors are now reviewing complaints that accuse them of insulting the police. If charged and convicted, they face no less than six months in jail and a fine of $1,250.

"What, why are you all worked up? I was joking," Hussein said on Facebook in response to the uproar over the video. He argued that the prank, however offensive, paled in comparison to the police abuses he said he witnessed firsthand during the 2011 uprising.

People "have not forgotten and will not forget what you did", he said, addressing the police. "I feel like my days outside prison are numbered."

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