Virus Does Not Dampen El-Sisi’s War on Media
Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi is keeping up his war on dissenting media even as the nation battles the COVID-19 virus. The Arab Network for Human Rights has reported 10 new detentions of reporters or media figures by the president. This, in addition to the report that Shady Habash, an Egyptian filmmaker who has been in custody for two years died in prison last week. Apparently seeking to deflect word of the horrific conditions in Egyptian jails made even worse by the coronavirus, a regime-issued statement accused Habash of causing his own death by accidentally drinking hand sanitizer. Since becoming president, el-Sisi has jailed thousands of journalists, lawyers and academics who criticize the government. The Committee to Protect Journalists ranks Egypt as one of the three most notorious jailers of journalists.