Egyptian Journalist Criminally Charged After Criticizing Al-Sisi

sisi-mouseWe have another abusive crackdown in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. Egypt has seen a dramatic rollback on civil liberties under al-Sisi. In Egypt, a teenager was jailed for cartoons of Muhammad and a leading businessman was attacked for a cartoon of Micky Mouse with a beard. Then there was the three-year sentence given Amr Nohan, a 22-year-old law graduate for posting a Facebook image of el-Sisi with Mickey Mouse-style cartoon ears. A leading cartoonist Islam Gawish, 26, was arrested in Egypt by the hyper sensitive al-Sisi government. Now Egypt’s Attorney General Nabil Sadeq ordered an investigation into a TV presenter, Azza Al-Henawy, who simply criticized al-Sisi for not delivering on promise.

b03d8bfb-9a81-4eb0-8eed-fadadab4bbcb_16x9_788x442Al-Henawy engaged in a standard critique of a politician that you find in countless countries — an objection about unfulfilled promises:

“You [Sisi] didn’t solve anything since you began ruling Egypt; you promised that within two years we will see a new Egypt, and one year and eight months have passed without any improvements. Only a few months are left and we are waiting.”

Her objection that Sisi has been “all talk and no action” resulted in a criminal charge.

The darkest character however was not Sisi or even Sadeq. It was a lawyer named Samir Sabry who filed a complaint against Henawy, accusing her of insulting the president and inciting to topple the government. Sadeq is a lawyer who is trashing the very foundations for the rule of law and civil liberties. To put it simply, Sadeq is a disgrace to every member of the bar in every country around the world.

Henawy was suspended from work. Notably, this is her second suspension. The first time as during the presidency of Mohammad Mursi for criticizing his administration. Unlike Sadeq, Henawy is a champion for the ideals of journalists and has shown tremendous courage in the face of blind authoritarianism.

10 thoughts on “Egyptian Journalist Criminally Charged After Criticizing Al-Sisi”

  1. @GaryT

    Good points! Condemnation of The Feast of Fools is another good example:

    The central idea seems always to have been a brief social revolution, in which power, dignity and impunity is briefly conferred on those in a subordinate position. In the views of later commentators, this makes the medieval festival a successor to the Roman Kalends of January, although there is no continuity between the two celebrations.[2] However, for the start of the Roman Saturnalia, authorities chose an enemy of the Roman people to represent the Lord of Misrule in each community. These men and women were forced to indulge in food and physical pleasures throughout the week, and eventually murdered brutally, “destroying the forces of darkness”.[3]

    The Feast of Fools and the almost blasphemous extravagances in some instances associated with it were constantly the object of sweeping condemnations of the medieval Church. On the other hand, some Catholic writers have thought it necessary to try to deny the existence of such abuses. One interpretation that reconciles this contradiction is that, while there can be no question that Church authorities of the calibre of Robert Grosseteste repeatedly condemned the licence of the Feast of Fools in the strongest terms, such firmly rooted customs took centuries to eradicate. It is certain that the practice lent itself to serious abuses, whose nature and gravity varied at different epochs. It should be said that among the thousands of European liturgical manuscripts the occurrence of anything which has to do with the Feast of Fools is extraordinarily rare. It never occurs in the principal liturgical books, the missals and breviaries. There are traces occasionally in a prose or a trope found in a gradual or an antiphonary. It would therefore seem there was little official approval for such extravagances, which were rarely committed to writing.

    Victor Hugo recreated a picturesque account of a Feast of Fools in his 1831 novel The Hunchback of Notre Dame, in which Quasimodo serves as Pope of Fools. In the Disney adaption, Quasimodo attends the festival by accident and meets Esmeralda who is also taking part in the festival. After Quasimodo is crowned the pope of fools he is tormented by the crowd thanks to Frollo’s soldiers. Phoebus is disgusted at the treatment and asks Frollo to stop it but Frollo cruelly refuses. Esmeralda seeing this is enraged, frees Quasimodo and puts the torture to a stop.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  2. I would think in the case of the teenager with the cartoons of Muhammed he was probably jailed for his own safety.

  3. Their rulers need rules. Just like nuns need rulers. Ever go to a catholic grade school run by nuns?

    “Glory, Glory Halleluya!
    Sister hit me with a Ruler!
    I beaned her in the bean with a rotten tangerine..
    And school kept marching on!
    du du du dunt da!”

    – Saint John and James Grade School, Ferguson Mo. circa 1962

  4. There is an old, even ancient, theme going on there.
    That laughter is evil, sacrilege, and that any humor will undermine the hierarchy of control and order.
    The idea that some things cannot be viewed in any humorous light as I said is very old, and comes from the fear that they way of the world is not as rigid as the enforcers demand it will be. Humor undermines the absolutist’s view of world, and shakes his foundation of control.
    Nothing exemplifies this better than a clip from The Name of the Rose:

  5. A backward, repressive, totalitarian, and brutal land requires its people to speak up. Brave indeed.

    Or the non-morons can all move to another country, using magic money that just appears in their pockets.

    Settle down, whimper.

  6. I don’t consider these morons to be brave–I consider them to be idiots, with a death wish. All of them. These fools, who, by the way, hail from the great land of Egypt, are completely familiar with the grave dangers which accompany such remarks, comments and/or behaviors, yet they consciously and purposely decide to proceed anyway, despite that knowledge. You want to live in a backward, repressive, totalitarian and brutal Muslim land–as if there is any other kind of Muslim land–and mouth off? Good luck with that. Oh well, them be the breaks. This falls into the too bad, so sad category.

  7. Plus, today it is the funny cartoons, and tomorrow it is sodomites doing it in the streets! I say once again, that it is probably the West’s inability to keep a lid on the rotten behavior of our citizens which scares the crap out of leaders in the rest of the world.

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  8. These territories need dictators. Why? Because their people are diverse and hate each other and are not ready for so called Democracy.

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