A law student has been jailed for three years over a meme he posted of Egyptian president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.
Amr Nohan doctored a pair of recognisable Mickey Mouse ears onto the head of al-Sisi and posted the image to Facebook.
A military court found the 22-year old, who was just five days short of completing his compulsory service army service, had shared an image inappropriate for a member of the armed forces.
Mr Nohan, a sharp critic of the government, had also posted messages such as “Down with Sisi, Morsi and Mubarak” during the Arab Spring of 2011, leading the court to decide he “had thoughts inside of him that run contrary to that of the ruling regime”.
During the hearing, prosecutors admitted Mr Nohan’s social media had been hacked, his passwords changed and his conversations tracked.
The prosecution presented screenshots of Mr Nohan’s personal conversations with friends in which he complained about being in the army.
It’s the latest in a string of crackdowns against free speech in Egypt, after al-Sisi publicly complained about journalists’ conduct in criticising him in November.
“We are truly in a Mickey Mouse state,” the defendant’s brother, Mansour Nohan, told IBTimes.
“Satire is a way for any people that have a mind of their own to express themselves, be that in a democratic country or not.”
Following the conviction, Nohan’s Mickey Mouse image has been shared on social media under the hashtag #ThisIsEgypt – hijacking the latest Egypt Tourism campaign.
Nohan is being held in Borg El Arab prison near Alexandria.
— Amnesty Australia (@amnestyOz) December 14, 2015