Egypt’s new president is under mounting pressure to protect human rights.
Hardly a month in office, Abdel Fattah El Sisi is facing a great deal of criticism. It peaked this week with the heavy sentences given to Al Jazeera’s journalists; who were sentenced to between seven and 10 years in prison on charges of reporting false news and aiding a terrorist group, a reference to the banned Muslim Brotherhood.
The day after the verdict, president Sisi said he would not interfere with the judiciary – which he described as independent. But many around the world don’t agree. Critics say it’s been used to crack down on political dissent.
Western countries have been criticising Sisi for his human rights record ever since he deposed Egypt’s first democratically elected president Mohamed Morsi last July.
But these countries stopped short of putting any pressure on Sisi. The US even said it will release $575 million in military aid to Egypt that had been frozen since last year’s coup.
On Inside Egypt, a discussion on Sisi’s policies on press freedom and human rights.
Presenter: Sami Zeidan
Wael Eskandar, an independent journalist and blogger.
Ernest Sagaga, head of the Human Rights Safety Department for the International Federation of Journalists.
Tarek Masoud, associate professor of public policy at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Tarek is also author of the book ‘Counting Islam: Religion, Class and Elections in Egypt’.