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Egyptian whistleblower's Twitter account suspended for several hours

Mohamed Ali's Twitter account was back online late on Monday
A photo posted on Facebook by Mohamed Ali in July 2018 (Facebook/Mohamed Ali)

Egyptian film star and property tycoon Mohamed Ali’s Twitter account was suspended for several hours on Monday following days of protests across Egypt.

The account was back online late on Monday with Ali promising to publish a new video later in the day.  

The Twitter account with the handle @mohamedsecrets had nearly 200,000 followers and was used to share Ali’s videos as well as footage of protests he encouraged that were held across Egypt over the weekend. 

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When it returned from suspension, the account was left with 33,000 followers.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment by the time of publication. 

Ali started posting videos calling out government corruption at the start of September, and has encouraged Egyptians to head out onto the streets to protest against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi. 

His videos have sparked a public debate over the contradiction between Sisi urging Egyptians to cut their spending and his alleged use of the army’s budget to fund his palatial residences.

Ali launched a number of hashtag campaigns against the Egyptian government, including #كفايه_بقى_ياسيسى (that’s enough Sisi) which was trending at number one in Egypt and at number six worldwide last week.

Ali, who lives in self-exile in Spain, accuses the Egyptian president of misusing public money to build luxury palaces for himself and his wife, while Egyptians face poverty. His social media accounts have earned him a massive following online, with each video attracting millions of views.

In a video posted late on Monday, Ali said his life was in danger, holding the Spanish government responsible for his safety. 

"If I die in Spain, then this Europe is a fraud, like America, like everybody else," Ali said. 

He added that people linked to Egyptian agents have located him in Spain, but he vowed to remain in place because he is "tired of running".

Ali also called for a student strike on Tuesday as Sisi addresses the UN General Assembly.

During the early hours of Saturday morning, footage shared on social media showed anti-Sisi demonstrations in Cairo, Alexandria, Suez, Gharbiya and Mahala.

The protests were later dispersed with tear gas and more than 500 people were arrested.

Tens of thousands of people have been detained by Sisi's government since 2013 in a widespread crackdown on opposition that has targeted activists from the now-banned Muslim Brotherhood of deposed former president Mohamed Morsi and other political dissidents.

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