Blog archive: Egypt

  • 30th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    British supermarket chief Mike Coupe: sentenced to jail by a court in Egypt without his knowledge   Egypt's repressive Sisi regime held a glitzy conference in Sharm el-Sheikh last month designed to attract foreign investment. More than 1,700 investors, government officials...
  • 8th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Since seizing power in Egypt, the Sisi regime has been cracking down on NGOs and homosexuality (among other things), and the latest move by the curiously-named Ministry of Social Solidarity strikes both targets in a single blow. The ministry is investigating a Giza-based NGO which is said to...
  • 5th April 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Sisi: trying to avoid "wrong calculations". Photo: Erin Kirk-Cuomo   Amid speculation that Egypt may send ground troops to Yemen, and numerous reminders that the last time it did so – under Nasser in the 1960s – the adventure proved disastrous, President Sisi sought to allay...
  • 8th March 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A European politician who has been banned from public office because of electoral malpractice was involved in monitoring the 2014 presidential election in Egypt. Last Thursday, an appeals court in Belgium confirmed a suspended prison sentence and a five-year ban from holding public office...
  • 27th February 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    On Tuesday President Sisi approved a new anti-terrorism law for Egypt which seems to be more about labelling political foes as terrorists than actually combating terrorism. The new law is so broad that it allows people to be convicted of "terrorism" even if they don't in violence. Al-...
  • 18th February 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    A 22-year-old Egyptian atheist was sentenced to a year in jail for "contempt of religion" at a court hearing on Monday. Although atheism is not actually illegal in Egypt and the new constitution says freedom of belief is "absolute", atheists are "the country's second enemy after the Muslim...
  • 2nd February 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Former minister Alistair Burt In line with the British government's sympathetic approach to "friendly" dictators, former Foreign Office minister Alistair Burt yesterday came close to excusing Egypt's imprisonment of three al-Jazeera journalists. Appearing on the BBC's Westminster Hour,...
  • 29th January 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Earlier this week the Sisi regime announced that it had approved five international NGOs to monitor Egypt's parliamentary elections in March.  It has now emerged that this is not strictly true, because two of the five NGOs are appear to be the same organisation operating under different...
  • 28th January 2015
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Loai Deeb, president of GNRD A controversial NGO headed by a man who once ran a fake university from his home has been appointed to monitor Egypt's forthcoming parliamentary elections. The Global Network for Rights and Development (GNRD), which has strong links with the UAE, is one of...
  • 15th December 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Hot on the heels of the "gay bath-house" raid in Cairo just over a week ago, there was news yesterday that Egyptian authorities have forcibly closed an "atheist cafe". Besides atheists who were allegedly "spreading misconceptions about heavenly religions" in the cafe, it is also said...
  • 12th December 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    An advisor to Egypt's Grand Mufti caused a good deal of amusement this week by announcing, apparently in all seriousness, that there are 866 atheists in Egypt (out of a population of around 90 million). This extremely precise information is said to have come from international research by an "...
  • 9th December 2014
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Queen Boat in Cairo – scene of the 2001 police raid The massive police raid on a hammam in Cairo – instigated by a pro-regime TV channel – is the latest and most dramatic development in a crackdown against gay men that has been going on for months, even...

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