Abdel Fattah AL-SISSI
President of Egypt since 8 June 2014
Predator since the military coup in July 2013
Egypt, 166th/180 countries in the 2021 World Press Freedom Index
PREDATORY METHOD: Mass arrests
Journalists are readily arrested by the security services – sometimes as part of a wave of arrests, sometimes during streets protests and sometimes at moments of political tension. They can also be arrested out of the blue and held preventively while being investigated. And then they may be placed in provisional detention that is extended indefinitely. The same two charges are often used: “membership of a terrorist group” and “spreading false news.” Sometimes the charge is “misusing social media.” Journalists may be arrested for covering a protest, writing an article about a sensitive subject, sharing critical social media posts, or working for banned media outlets. Under the August 2015 terrorism law, journalists are required on “national security” grounds to use only the official version when covering terrorist attacks or bombings. The 2017 cyber-crime law criminalises online criticism and gives the authorities a free hand to block websites.
FAVOURITE TARGETS: Any media suspected of a link to the Muslim Brotherhood
OFFICIAL DISCOURSE: Security before everything
“We do a lot so that everyone gets justice in courts, and we do not have political detainees. We previously had chaos, but we are now working on building and stability.” (Abdel Fattah el-Sisi interview for Die Welt in April 2021).
“I do not want to exaggerate, but we have unprecedented freedom of expression in Egypt. No one in Egypt can bar anyone working in media or journalism or on TV from expressing their views.” (Abdel Fattah el-Sisi interview for CNN in September 2015).