1 January 2018 I would like to thank everyone who reached out for information about the situation of my close friend Mohamad El-Hadidi during the past couple of days. It is confirmed that El-Hadidi is currently detained for four days after being arrested by police forces outside of Alexandria court last Saturday, 30 December 2017. It is also confirmed that he was there to attend the public sentence hearing of the recent case of the lawyer Mahienour El-Massry. El-Hadidi is a photographer, DOP, filmmaker and producer. He is one of the most eminent figures in the filmmaking society in Alexandria. He is also the co-founder of Rufy's Films and the producer of my last two documentaries. Disregarding the difficulties of the last two nights, many of El-Hadidi's family members, friends and admirers have hopes of his release soon. However, your prayers and vigilance are much solicited and sought for.
Mohamad El-Hadidi in a cinematic talk in September 2017.
2 January 2018 - Update #1 In a surprising turn of events, the investigations into the incident have suddenly been turned into a court case. The case was looked into this morning in front of an emergency National Security court and the verdict has been postponed until the judge hears the testimony of the officer who claimed that Mohamad El-Hadidi, and two others, were aggressive with the police forces. The postponement means one more week of detention for El-Hadidi who happened to be among the crowd in front of the courthouse on Saturday 30 December 2017 as previously mentioned. The postponement also puts the career of El-Hadidi in a critical situation as he has been recently selected to take part in two important cinematic events in Europe during 2018. His first feature fiction film project "The Last Night" has been recently selected to represent Egypt in the annual lab for French speaking filmmakers Meditalents. The Facebook page of the respected French Mediterranean institution has announced its selection this afternoon. In addition to that, Mohamad was selected to be part of this years Berlinale Talents, the prestigious annual summit and networking platform of the Berlin International film festival. The Talents are very strict with their selection each year and they invite only 250 creatives from allover the world. Both the Berlinale and Meditalents are interested purely in the art of Cinema and creative talents, not political activists or individuals who can be a threat to "national security". I call upon our friends to spread the word about the developments of the story of El-Hadidi as much as possible. I ask those who have personal connections to media providers to offer help for more exposure and guarantee of transparency regarding his case.
El-Hadidi, far left, during the last El Gouna Film festival.
9 January 2018 - Update #2 This morning witnessed the announcement of a not-guilty verdict for Mohamad El-Hadidi and his two colleagues which means an acquittal from all charges. We expect El-Hadidi to be released tonight or tomorrow. On behalf of myself, and many of his friends and family members, I would like to thank all the supporters of Mohamad's case during the past nightmarish eleven days. Now we can celebrate the new year :)