Egypt Gold Medalist Punished Over Rabia

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Mohamed Youssef was shown on stage in St. Petersburg holding his medal and wearing a T-shirt with Rabia symbol.

CAIRO – An Egyptian Kung Fu champion has been deported and banned from representing his country after flashing the Rabia sign in support for former President Mohamed Morsi after receiving a gold medal during a tournament in Russia.

"Kung Fu player Mohamed Youssef will be recalled from Russia due to his behavior," Egypt Kung Fu Association executive officer Gamal El-Jazzar told Ahram Arabic website.

"He will also be banned from representing Egypt in the coming Kung Fu World Championship that kicks off on 27 November in Kuala Lumpur," he concluded.

In a photo on the state-run Al-Ahram website, Mohamed Youssef was shown on stage in St. Petersburg holding his medal and wearing a T-shirt with Rabia symbol.

Youssef's brother Hamem told Reuters that he had been stripped of the medal, removed from a list of eligible kung fu players in the sport's national federation, and told he could not represent Egypt in future tournaments.

“Rabia sign”, made by raising four fingers, has become the symbol of what is perceived by many as “Rabia square massacre”.

The sit-in was organized when former president Mohamed Morsi was deposed by Defense Minister General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi on Jul 3 after public protests.

Rejecting the move as a military coup, protesters camped in two sit-ins in Cairo Rabai and Nahda squares for more than a month and a half.

Last August 14, Egyptian security forces cracked down on protesters to end the sit-in, in which hundreds were killed and thousands injured.

Just a few hours before the security crackdown, pro-democracy protesters in Egypt tried to voice their demands to the world by raising their four fingers.

The sign echoed through the Muslim world as Turkish activists launched a website called "R4bia.com".

Later on, a hashtag of ‘Whatisr4bia’ was composed in Twitter which ranked among Trend Topics (TT) in a high increase in Turkey, and then took place among the world lists.

It has become a global TT in which users from all parts in the world showed interest from Asia to Europe and from Africa to the USA.

Thousands of users notably in Pakistan, Iraq, Egypt, Bosnia Herzegovina, Malaysia and Indonesia, and then in Europe and America shared both written messages and photographs under the hashtag of "Whatisr4bia".

On the Facebook, the number of those using "Rabia sign" as a profile picture is reported to be over 100 million.

Related Links:
World Muslims Condemn Egypt’s ‘Massacre’
Egypt’s Crackdown Sparks World Outrage
Charred Bodies Await Burial In Cairo Mosque
Egypt’s Crackdown Sparks World Outrage
World Condemns Egypt Bloodshed

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