Four men are arrested for organising joke ‘Real Batman Battle’ event where rivals would fight to decide the best Dark Knight: Egyptian authorities feared it could ‘spark a riot’
- Egyptian police arrested four men set to fight to determine the ‘real Batman’
- A poster promoting the ‘Helwan Real Batman Battle’ showed Batman in Cairo
- But Egyptian authorities cracked down on the event before it started, fearing a riot as the fight was set to take place on the anniversary of 2013 protests
Police in Egypt have arrested four men who were planning to fight in Egypt for a competition to reveal the ‘real Batman’ after citing fears it could ‘spark a riot’.
Authorities arrested the men in front of the Helwan metro station after they all agreed to fight each other in person.
The four men were set to battle in Helwan, with authorities tracing the event to an online spat which started over an online joke when social media users claimed to be the masked superhero.
‘Freedom for the Dark Knight,’ said a Twitter user in Arabic following the arrests.
‘Now we’ll never know,’ said another.
A poster promoting the ‘Helwan Real Batman Battle’ showed Batman driving through Cairo in a tuk-tuk.
‘The winner will be the Batman of the province and then we will collect all the provinces and the winner will be the real Batman,’ wrote one member of the public Batman group in Egyptian.
The organisers were set to meet at 11pm, following nightfall.
A poster promoting the ‘Helwan Real Batman Battle’ showed Batman driving through Cairo
The event was scheduled for August 13, with several excitable cosplayers apparently planning to take to the streets to duke it out.
Several posters took to Facebook post ‘I am the real Batman’, hyping up the event.
But Egyptian authorities seem to have become worried about the competition when TV presenter Lamis al-Hadidi, whose ON TV channel has links to the Egyptian government, pointed out the fight would take place on the 9th anniversary of the 2013 Tahrir Square protests that killed 900 people.
The protests ended in the 2013 coup d’état where Mohamed Morsi was overthrown by army chief General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who is currently in government.
Unauthorised public gatherings of more than 10 people have been banned in Egypt since 2013 and any event requires a government license.
Police arrested the men for ‘planning a riot’ and ‘using reactions’ to ‘make money’, despite acknowledging the event started as a joke, according to the BBC.
Many Egyptians view social media in the country as a place free from government surveillance but authorities often monitor sites like Twitter and Facebook for disruptive events.
Other social media users compared the Storm Area 51 internet meme, when two million people responded ‘going’ and 1.5 million ‘interested’ to an event urging users to storm the Storm Area 51 Basecamp in Hiko, Nevada.
But only 150 people showed up at the two entrances to Area 51 and none succeeded in entering the site, according to state and local law enforcement.
Another promotional poster advertises the Batman fight on August 13, which Egyptian authorities feared would lead to a riot