Blog archive: Egypt

  • 25th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The Egyptian interior ministry claimed yesterday that police had found – and killed – the murderers of Italian PhD student Giulio Regeni. Regeni, 28, who had been researching trade union activism in Egypt, disappeared on January 25. His mutilated body, showing classic signs of torture, was...
  • 19th March 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    The killing of postgraduate student Giulio Regeni, apparently at the hands of Egypt's security apparatus, has put the Sisi regime on the spot. In the face of an international outcry, the regime is responding with a mixture of bluster, conspiracy theories and diversionary tactics.  The...
  • 26th February 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Youssef Rakha: genius in a land of madness Egypt's ground-breaking novelist      The Book of the Sultan's Seal, in its English translation, measures 203mm x 134mm, weighs approximately 410 grammes and has a brownish cover. It consists of 374 pages divided into...
  • 21st February 2016
    By
    Brian Whitaker
    Novelist Ahmed Naji yesterday began a two-year jail sentence – the maximum allowed under Egyptian law – for "violating public decency" by writing about "transient lust and fleeting pleasure". His trial was the latest in a long line of morality-related cases instigated by individuals and...
  • 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...

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