Blog archive: Egypt

  • 31st December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Egyptian TV presenter Islam Beheiry left court in handcuffs on Monday to begin a one-year prison sentence for thought crime. He had been convicted of "defaming" religion by calling for reform in Islam – a call previously made by no lesser figure than President Sisi himself. In...
  • 29th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Twenty government officials representing Egypt's Censorship Authority, the Tax Authority, the National Security Agency and the Ministry of Manpower raided an arts centre in downtown Cairo last night and shut it down. Mada Masr website reports: "At around 7 pm Monday, a group of seven...
  • 15th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Six weeks after the Russian airliner crash in Sinai that claimed 224 lives, Egypt's civil aviation ministry has issued a preliminary report of its investigation. This has prompted some misleading stories in the media that Egypt is either flatly denying a terrorist connection or at least...
  • 10th December 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The global Freedom of Thought Report for 2015, published today, begins with a map of the world where every country in the MENA region, from Morocco and Mauritania on the Atlantic coast to Iran in the Gulf. is coloured either black (indicating "grave violations) or red (indicating "severe...
  • 19th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Islamic State has issued a photograph showing parts of what it says was an explosive device that brought down the Russian airliner over Sinai on October 31 with the loss of 224 lives. IS also claims to have exploited a loophole at Sharm el-Sheikh airport to smuggle a bomb on board the plane...
  • 15th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The cockpit voice recorder of the Russian airliner that crashed in Sinai is unlikely to settle the question of what caused the disaster that killed 224 people. According to Ayman al-Muqaddam, the chief Egyptian investigator, a "noise" can be heard in the final second of the recording....
  • 5th November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Marks on the Airbus door. Do they show shrapnel damage? President Sisi of Egypt arrived in London yesterday – just in time for the 409th anniversary of Britain's most famous bomb plot. Opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn denounced his visit and demonstrators angered...
  • 2nd November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A brief update on the Sinai air disaster. A statement by the head of Russia's Air Transport Agency that the Airbus which crashed on Saturday "disintegrated in the air at a high altitude" has renewed media speculation about a jihadist attack. An editorial in today's Daily Mirror, for...
  • 1st November 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Initial reports of the Russian airliner crash over Sinai yesterday were quick to point out that the disaster occurred in an area where Egyptian security forces are fighting an Islamist insurgency. Several hours later a statement ostensibly issued by the Islamic State claimed to have shot the...
  • 16th October 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    In its latest annual survey of religious freedom, the US State Department highlights the kidnapping and extortion of Christians in Egypt. Church leaders say this is on the increase and according Pope Tawadros, head of the Coptic church, it is among the most significant problems faced by...
  • 9th July 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
      Since the US Supreme Court decided that same-sex couples in America have a right to marry, more than 26 million people have welcomed the news by adding a rainbow tint to their Facebook photo.  One of those who did so was the popular Egyptian actor Khaled Abol Naga....
  • 11th June 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Anne-Marie Lizin, the disgraced Belgian politician and "High Commissioner" of the Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD) was in Cairo recently, hobnobbing with President Sisi. She seems to have been so thrilled by her handshake with the Egyptian dictator that she posted a photo of it...

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