We 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.
“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.