Egyptian Anti-Journalism Fervor Said to Be Over the Top
Amnesty International is acknowledging World Press Freedom Day on Sunday by singling out Egypt, where a 2015 counterterrorism law is being used as the weapon fired at members of the Fourth Estate – applied against anyone who expresses their own private views on social media or disagrees in any way with the official government line. Philip Luther, Amnesty’s Middle East and North Africa director, told The Associated Press, “The Egyptian authorities have made it very clear that anyone who challenges the official narrative will be severely punished.” In a word, dissent has become an actionable offense in Egypt under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, with national security having become the excuse to prosecute that dissent. In one illustration offered by AP, the editor of a news website who disagreed with the Health Ministry’s assessment of the coronavirus impact was jailed immediately on charges of suspicion of joining a terrorist organization. At least a dozen journalists working for government-run outlets have been locked up for stating opinions that ran contrary to the official line out of Cairo.