On Sunday January 6th, CBS aired a story regarding the government of Abdel Fattah El-Sisi in Egypt. Almost immediately after Sisi did the interview, the Egyptian government asked them not to broadcast the interview. When it comes to the story itself, it included perspectives from both the president itself and his critics both Egyptian and otherwise.
According to CBS, the story then transitioned to concerns of violations of human rights including the killing of protestors. When Sisi was asked directly whether or not his country had any political prisoners, he denied this and stated that “[w]e are trying to stand against extremists who impose their ideology on the people”.
He went on to deny figures by Human Rights Watch which stated that there are 60,000 political prisoners in Egypt. After giving Sisi’s perspective, the interview transitioned to the perspective of his opponents including from the Muslim Brotherhood.
The Egyptian state explains their drastic measures as a necessary measure to curtail the influence of the Muslim Brotherhood. The story stated that Sisi’s government has outlawed them as terrorists thought the United States has not followed suit.
The story included Andrew Miller explaining that “The Brotherhood was one of Egypt’s largest education, charity and healthcare associations. Many members are middle class; academics, doctors and lawyers”.
Miller went on to state that even though Sisi started his crackdown as a campaign against the Muslim Brotherhood, he has extended this to secular opposition and even individual critics. The story also featured Mohamed Soltan an American citizen who was imprisoned in Egypt for “transmitting false news”.
Soltan went on to explain how he was kept awake for sometimes 36 hours at a time and was even urged to commit suicide by guards. The story concluded by reemphasizing the role that the United States and Israel play in supporting Egypt and its justification in the name of fighting terrorism.