Egypt’s new authoritarian regime is rapidly closing the public space—cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and thwarting citizens’ peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. The government’s primary strategy is to institute wide-scale repression through lawmaking and justify its behavior through conspiratorial and populist narratives. With unprecedented resolve, it has passed new protest and terrorism laws, introduced legal amendments targeting nongovernmental organizations, and extended the military court’s jurisdiction. Essentially, the regime is adapting lawmaking for its own purposes. To fight against the tide, those challenging the system need to fully understand how.

The Strategy

  • Egypt’s government is institutionalizing its new authoritarian doctrine as part of the state apparatus, thereby empowering the military and intelligence and security services to control civil society with little oversight.
  • Undemocratic laws are being used to rescind established notions of the rule of law and denigrate trust in the impartiality of public institutions.
  • Vague, broad language in new and amended laws—such as the Protest Law, NGO Law, Penal Code, Terrorism Law, and Military Court Law—is enabling the regime to arbitrarily prohibit or criminalize activities without definition, make accusations of terrorism without legal restraint, and transfer civilians to military courts.
  • With legal backing, scare tactics and police brutality are being used regularly to deprive citizens of their freedoms of expression and association.
  • To justify its policies, the regime is propagating conspiracy theories, the defamation of opponents, and hate speech directed at voices of dissent.
  • The government is also using religious and nationalistic narratives to elevate its ruler to the level of a moral paragon and savior and to counteract dissatisfaction with Egypt’s deteriorating conditions.
  • This approach allows Egypt’s generals to claim that their policies are aligned with national interests and national security.

The Effects

  • Debates about public affairs and politics have become permeated with incorrect information, fake news, and outright lies.
  • Liberal and leftist parties have been once again either domesticated or marginalized in a formal political arena controlled by the security services.
  • Viable opposition movements and civic activism have been severely hindered. Islamist movements, in particular, have been weakened.
  • Human rights defenders and nongovernmental organizations have been pushed to the edge of extinction, in constant fear of government sanctions.
  • Tens of thousands of people have been detained, imprisoned, tortured, or killed by the security and intelligence services in the name of protecting the country’s stability.


Amr Hamzawy
Amr Hamzawy is a senior fellow and the director of the Carnegie Middle East Program. His research and writings focus on governance in the Middle East and North Africa, social vulnerability, and the different roles of governments and civil societies in the region.
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After a brief democratic opening, a new authoritarian regime has emerged in Egypt. The military establishment, security services, and intelligence agencies now rule the country and have managed to reintroduce fear as a daily constant in a nation still in dire straits. This stands in stark contrast to the period following the 2011 revolution, which fostered the activity of civil society and political parties and encouraged citizens to freely express their opinions and engage in the political process.

The new authoritarian regime is propagating conspiracy theories and populist narratives as a prime strategy for maintaining its control of society.

Once again, power is held by a military officer who was pushed into the presidential palace after elections that lacked any measure of democratic competition.1 Images of peacefully protesting masses and citizens waiting in long lines to cast ballots have been replaced by scenes of police units rounding up young Egyptians after attempted peaceful demonstrations, confirmed reports of torture in places of custody, and forced disappearances.2

Using undemocratic legal and judicial tools with a zeal unmatched even during the long authoritarian rule of former president Hosni Mubarak (1981–2011), Egypt’s generals are closing the public space by cracking down on autonomous civil society and independent political parties, asphyxiating the practice of pluralist politics, and pushing citizens away from peaceful and active engagement in public affairs. Scare tactics and police brutality are being used for wide-scale repression. Key opposition groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood, a small number of political parties, human rights defenders, and young activists are under immense pressure and struggling against the yoke of the government. The military, as well as the security and intelligence services, are institutionalizing this new authoritarianism as part of the state apparatus. The generals are denying Egyptians the right to a representative and accountable government. Further, according to popular opinion, the generals are ridiculing any serious search for democratic alternatives. Against a background of growing economic and social crises, rising political tensions, and failed policies, the new authoritarian regime is propagating conspiracy theories and populist narratives as a prime strategy for maintaining its control of society.

Egypt’s new government is essentially using lawmaking to legalize its behavior and guarantee impunity for its generals.

This is Egypt’s current reality. And while this is not the country’s first contemporary encounter with undemocratic rule, what is new is the tenacity with which the generals are eliminating human rights and freedoms, threatening Egypt’s fragile social fabric, and monopolizing the state apparatus. They are resorting to repression in direct response to a brief democratic opening and a period of citizen activism that challenged the pillars of authoritarianism. Also notable is the central tool in their efforts—a new series of repressive laws and amendments that have largely gone undiscussed in international discourse. Egypt’s new government is essentially using lawmaking to legalize its behavior and guarantee impunity for its generals. Civil society, opposition parties, and pro-democracy groups will need to continually adapt their strategies to fight against this normalization of repressive action through laws and amendments. To do so, however, first requires an awareness and understanding of both the regime’s tools and the evolving legal landscape.

Deteriorating Conditions

Soon after the 2013 military coup, state-sponsored violence and human rights abuses began to shake Egyptian society. The regime attempted to rationalize them using a claim that they themselves propagated: that the new authoritarianism would save the most populous Middle Eastern country from a civil outbreak, terrorism, and economic decay. President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, a former army chief during the 2013 coup, initially portrayed his ascendency to power as the only way to end the threat of terrorism—which was blamed on Egypt’s overthrown president, Mohamed Morsi, and the Muslim Brotherhood. Sisi also made it clear that he had the backing of the military establishment as the ultimate guarantor of restoring stability and improving the living conditions of the majority. It was in this context that wide segments of the population, especially those opposed to the democratic opening, supported the coup and saw Sisi as a savior in uniform.

The generals continue to espouse these promises, even while the situation on the ground deteriorates further. The generals have failed to improve the societal landscape, which continued to worsen when they stalled the democratic opening and asserted their control over state and politics. The threat of terrorism, predominantly in Sinai and to a lesser extent in the Egyptian mainland, has not diminished.3 A growing portion of the population doubts whether the government’s so-called war on terror is being pursued efficiently. The continuation of terrorist attacks since 2013 and the involvement of the military and security forces in indiscriminate killing and other human rights abuses in Sinai are pushing many Egyptians to question official measures.4 The implementation of forced evacuation policies targeting some communities in Sinai, along with dramatically deteriorating living conditions, have created a local environment defined by grievances, radicalization, and readiness to violence, which undermines the government’s counterterrorism efforts.5 Aside from Sinai, the reported rise of radical sentiments among thousands of young Egyptians detained in prisons or harassed outside of them has stirred up violence,6 most significantly in small groups splintering from the Muslim Brotherhood and other Islamist movements.7

Meanwhile, the country’s economic and social conditions have remained poor. The government has been pursuing a reform program that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) approved and that is designed to address structural issues such as the huge budget deficit, official overspending, state subsidies, and currency floatation.8 However, this long-term program is not expected to improve economic conditions in the near term or lessen the social suffering resulting from high poverty and unemployment rates—27.8 percent and 12.6 percent, respectively, in 2016.9 Indeed, the IMF-approved program has hit hard the poor and vulnerable segments of the population, as well as the middle class. Inflation rates are high—reaching 25 percent in December 2016 and January 201710—and the local currency has been devalued by almost 50 percent.11 Adding to the economic malaise, the financial support that Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates have extended to the government since the 2013 coup has been declining since 2015.12 Also, due to the unstable security and political situation in the country, Western investments have only increased slightly.13

Many of the government’s economic, social, and developmental policies have proven unsuccessful.

Many of the government’s economic, social, and developmental policies have proven unsuccessful. These policies include investing public resources in mega-construction projects with uncertain returns and without any public scrutiny or oversight. Particularly problematic is that some projects such as the second Suez Canal and the New Administrative Capital are managed directly by the economic arm of the military establishment,14 which is not subjected to effective transparency and accountability measures from other official institutions or from civil society.15 The government’s policies also stretch to promises of “upcoming achievements beyond imagination” (phrasing frequently used by the current president) that will not be objectively assessed and suffer from a lack of government-provided facts and information.16 Only a few programs implemented to help the poor (a third of the population)—most notably the cash payment program named Solidarity and Dignity (Takaful wa Karama), which the Ministry of Social Solidarity oversees—have been rated successful by independent sources.17

The State’s Conspiracy Theories, Defamation Campaigns, and Populist Narratives

The government recognizes that it cannot rely only on the promise of restoring security and improving the living conditions of the majority to justify its closing of the democratic opening and its heavy-handed ruling techniques. Therefore, it is also using a web of alternative narratives to justify its approach and is spreading these messages using security-controlled public and private media institutions. Conspiracy theories, defamation campaigns, and hate speech against voices of dissent have assumed central positions in this web. In the official discourse, the government’s failures are blamed on opposition movements and pro-democracy groups to divert attention from the negative consequences of repression and failed policies employed by the generals.18

Nationalistic populism is used to justify the generals’ monopoly on power by allowing the ruling general to claim to be aligning with national interests and national security.

Conspiracy theories accusing autonomous civil society of serving foreign governments’ agendas and defamation campaigns depicting young activists and voices of dissent as forces of chaos discourage the development of viable opposition movements and limit the popular appeal of dissenting voices.19 In a public space in which free speech about the failures and transgressions of the government is not allowed, these narratives amount to a systematic effort to brainwash the population and permeate debates about public affairs with incorrect information, fake news, and outright lies.20

Increasingly, Egypt’s generals are also depending on notions of religious and nationalistic populism to tighten their grip on many aspects of societal life—under the pretense that they are ruling on behalf of ordinary citizens and attending to their needs.21 Religious populism elevates the ruler to the level of a moral paragon who has the right to speak in the name of religion—not just in the public and political spheres but also in terms of citizens’ private lives and ethics. The new authoritarian government is using official Islamic and Christian institutions to impose its own interpretations of religion on Egyptian society. These interpretations appear in four interrelated ways. First, the government frames obedience to the ruling general and the approval of its policies as a religious duty.22 Second, the generals claim that the government-promoted understanding of religion is moderate, so anything that goes against it can be labeled extremist. This extends from the religious-based platforms of nonviolent opposition movements, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, to violent jihadist groups.23 Third, they depict the ruling general as a protector of dignified morals and values, so divergent moral conceptions can be denounced as inappropriate for Egypt—a denunciation frequently addressed to human rights activists and pro-democracy civil society organizations.24 And fourth, the generals use religious symbols and statements in the public space to rationalize repression and human rights abuses and to demand popular support for the messiah in uniform.25

Nationalistic populism is used to justify the generals’ monopoly on power by allowing the ruling general to claim to be aligning with national interests and national security.26 The savior role of the generals, as foster parents to an infant nation,27 is juxtaposed with a widespread stigmatization of supporters of pluralism, civilian institutions, and civilian politicians that deems them incapable of providing security and stability.28 The generals characterize civilians as not having the capacity to safeguard the nation and provide for the real welfare of the country or as insular groups that seek only to further their own interests. As politics and politicians are derided, the new authoritarian regime justifies filling the void in the executive and legislative branches of government with military, security, and intelligence officers by portraying them as true nationalists and members of the only institutions capable of promoting stability and prosperity.29 The end objective is to make Egyptians believe there are no credible alternatives to the generals, despite their violence and failed policies.30

The government has been drawing on a reliable set of notions commonly employed throughout the long history of Egyptian authoritarianism and easy to adapt to the current authoritarian moment. These notions are best captured by phrases such as “the president is working, but some institutions and agencies limit the success of his policies”; “if it were not for the continuous intervention and guidance of the president, the economic and financial situation of the country would be disastrous”; and “the president is the only one aware of the real magnitude of the responsibility placed on his shoulders, and that is why he does not sleep except for a few hours daily.”31 The phrases are repeated often in security-controlled public and private media outlets, along with other general and romantic statements about the savior president that are meant to glorify his role and build a personality cult around him. A second set of notions is tailored to promote the military establishment and, to a lesser extent, the security and intelligence services as spearheading the efforts to save Egypt, to fight corruption in civilian institutions and guide their policies toward greater efficiency, and to provide for citizens’ basic needs (from milk formula for children to medication).32

Civilian officials and politicians have been frequently portrayed as giving in to the lure of private interests and rewards.

These notions have been coupled with the frequent employment of statements that ridicule civilian politics, describing it as sophistry. Civilian officials and politicians have been frequently portrayed as giving in to the lure of private interests and rewards. Other times, they have been labeled incapable of familiarizing themselves with the requirements of “national salvation.” They have been accused of making wrong decisions that fall on the president to correct, including drafting a constitution that “is full of good intentions, but is not attentive enough to the requirements of defending the state and national security.”33

Nationalistic populism, further, has enabled the creation of a governing framework that is in clear contradiction with the principles of the rule of law and good governance. The military establishment and the security and intelligence services—which benefit from such populism—obtain constitutional, legal, and political immunity from all forms of accountability.34 The 2014 constitution enshrines a special status for the military establishment. Its budget cannot be discussed in a transparent manner, mechanisms for oversight of the armed forces are eliminated, and civilians face military courts whenever the generals decide such action is appropriate.35 Capitalizing on this special status, the military establishment has increased its economic and social role.36 The number of military and security generals appointed to key executive positions or promoted to positions in Parliament has also been on the rise.37 Indeed, the promotion of retired military and police officers in the parliamentary elections of 2015 was a key step in further militarizing the formal political arena. In Parliament, retired officers have been positioned at the heads of blocs and subcommittees,38 and their dominance—among other factors—has led to the adoption of repressive laws and antidemocratic measures.39 This setup undermines the power of the legislative and judicial branches of government and therefore limits the checks and balances in the political system and neutralizes governmental monitoring agencies such as the Central Auditing Organization.40

The government has introduced under this nationalistic populist guise various legal changes that contradict basic notions of justice and equality.

In the public space, nationalistic populism silences voices of dissent and pro-democracy groups. The new authoritarian government has sought to discredit these voices and groups to break any conceptual link among democracy, human rights, and the interests of ordinary people. The same techniques are used to discredit student activists critical of wide-scale human rights abuses and industrial workers demanding legitimate wage increases. They too are accused of corruption, treason, and conspiracy.41 As security-controlled media outlets tell it, local and international reports documenting human rights abuses and narrating the personal tragedies of labor activists are outright lies. For these outlets, statements issued by Egyptian and Western nongovernmental organizations detailing the government’s repressive policies are all manifestations of grand conspiracies against the country. Nationalistic populism often allows regimes to dismiss universal standards of democracy and the rule of law as Western practices pushed by “enemies of the nation” that do not apply to Egypt and are not binding to the government.42 Police brutality and violations of basic rights and freedoms are mere propaganda claims disseminated by “traitors” of the military establishment that has saved Egypt from slipping into chaos and destruction.43 Forced disappearances, torture, extrajudicial killings, and various rights abuses are all committed under the banner of protecting the nation and defending the interests of ordinary Egyptians.44

The readiness of the media to use denial tactics, hate speech, and negative collective labels to justify abuses has made it easier for the military establishment and security services to systematically violate citizens’ rights and freedoms.45 It has led within the Egyptian state apparatus to the predominance of the military establishment and security and intelligence services—institutions that are in a position to unleash excessive force on citizens and society. This has greatly diminished any potential for civilian politics or for balancing civil-military relations in post-2013 Egypt.46 Furthermore, the government has introduced under this nationalistic populist guise various legal changes that contradict basic notions of justice and equality. The military and security forces, claiming to wage a just war on terror, have engaged in unlawful and unchecked surveillance while threatening citizens’ rights and freedoms.47

In sum, instead of implementing sound economic and social policies or developing counterterrorism measures that avoid human rights abuses, the new authoritarian government has exploited nationalistic populism to ignore the realities of repression and deny the free flow of information. The generals have convinced large segments of the population that others are to blame for the growing crises in Egypt and have suggested that a citizen’s duty is to support the government and obey the generals. But saving the country will be nearly impossible as long as human rights abuses, the excessive economic role of the military establishment, and the lukewarm fight against corruption continue.48

This is an Orwellian paradox. In the name of the people, Egypt’s generals have effectively engaged in behavior directed primarily against the people.

Lawmaking in Service of New Authoritarianism

To carry out these efforts, the regime is using legal measures to pull citizens away from the public space, close it off, and prosecute opponents (see table 1). Little local and global attention has been paid to the details surrounding the introduction of new laws and various amendments—and even less to the implications they have for citizens’ rights and freedoms, the rule of law, notions of justice, and popular trust in the impartiality of public institutions. This oversight may be due to the technical nature of these laws and legal amendments and the rapid rate at which they are being introduced. A thorough analysis of how the ruling generals are subjugating Egypt’s society is of paramount importance to understanding the mechanics of the country’s new authoritarianism.

The Protest Law

On November 24, 2013, Egypt’s interim president, Adly Mansour, used his temporary legislative prerogatives to issue a law titled Organizing the Right to Public Meetings, Processions, and Peaceful Demonstrations.49 This measure, known locally as the Protest Law, should be scrutinized not only because it usurps the freedom of many Egyptian youth, students, workers, Muslim Brotherhood members, and others, but also because it has created a citizen diaspora—a chased community outside of the public space, pursued by a government that does not shy away from sponsoring violence and legalizing repression.50

The Protest Law recognizes citizens’ right to “organize a meeting, or conduct a procession or protest.”51 It requires notification to be given at least three days and no more than fifteen days in advance of such actions. Yet, the law as originally drafted gives the security services absolute power to cancel or postpone a demonstration, change its location, and modify its path based on “serious information or evidence” regarding threats against security and peace. In its tenth article, the law effectively eliminates citizens’ rights of peaceful assembly and demonstration. It also does not include any guarantees that demonstrators will not be surveilled or subjected to threats.

This setup makes the security services the proverbial judge, jury, and executioner. It essentially allows police forces to conduct themselves—potentially committing abuses—without any oversight, control, or framework for objective evaluation of their actions. The only check on the security services in the law is weak. Article Ten, as originally drafted, allows citizens to air their grievances concerning the prevention of demonstrations or the delay of decisions in front of a judge. This just means, however, that citizens can file a complaint, with no indication of the potential outcomes.

In another stipulation, the law essentially gives the security services and other executive-affiliated bodies the capacity to bar civilians from protesting in front of public offices. It endows the security services with the authority to delineate “secure zones” surrounding public institutions and facilities, in which demonstrations and rallies are prohibited. The security services have expanded their use of the term secure zone to prevent any protest against legislative, executive, and judicial institutions that are responsible for public actions—institutions that across the world draw the attention of citizens with grievances and of constituencies harmed by public policies. The same stipulation has also been employed to disperse marches on police stations, governors’ offices, and municipalities that have quotidian interactions with the public and often marginalize society’s weakest groups.

The most serious of these measures is a draconian ban imposed in Article Seven on various types of protests. It prohibits participation in meetings, rallies, marches, and demonstrations that the government classifies as disturbing societal peace and as potentially resulting in the damage of public and private property, road blockages, and the prevention of other citizens from exercising their rights. Article Seven also outlaws peaceful rallies, strikes, and sit-ins that could damage state-owned means of production or individual businesses. This ban negates the constitutionally enshrined and internationally sanctioned right to peacefully protest in streets and squares and to conduct strikes and sit-ins at work sites.

The [protest] law essentially gives the security services and other executiveaffiliated bodies the capacity to bar civilians from protesting in front of public offices.

Articles eleven through thirteen also provide tools for the security services to virtually abolish citizens’ rights to protest. They grant police forces the authority to use batons as well as rubber and nonrubber bullets to disperse meetings, rallies, marches, and demonstrations that they deem unpeaceful. The law does not include an adequate definition of what constitutes a “departure from the peaceful nature.” It authorizes “dispersion by force,” which has led to a massive increase in the use of violent dispersal tactics.52 Moreover, the law outlines a range of financial sanctions, as well as imprisonment, for those who violate its rules.

There has been some movement against this law since it was passed. As a result of human rights defenders, young activists, and the few remaining opposition parties continually demanding that it be annulled, the Supreme Constitutional Court (SCC) struck down Article Ten on December 3, 2016.53 The court ruled that granting the security services the power to regulate and prevent demonstrations was unconstitutional. The demonstrators’ constitutional rights and the principle of separation of powers oblige that the security services’ demands regarding restricting demonstrations and other protest activities are referred to a court to adjudicate the matter.

This [article seven] ban negates the constitutionally enshrined and internationally sanctioned right to peacefully protest in streets and squares and to conduct strikes and sit-ins at work sites.

Notably, the SCC stated that the requirement for citizens to notify the security services of their intentions to demonstrate is not designed to empower the government to restrict a constitutional right. The ruling says that only a competent court in accordance with due process could apply such a restriction. This could have implications in areas other than demonstrations, particularly nongovernmental organization (NGO) registration. It could force the government to go to court to prevent an organization from gaining official status rather than the current practice of rejecting registration applications and forcing applicants to engage in lengthy litigation to reverse the decisions.

If the security services are determined to restrict demonstrations, however, the surviving articles of the Protest Law give them wide-ranging legal powers to do so. For instance, they can still ask a court to ban peaceful demonstrations in squares, roads, and work sites and close to state buildings and public offices. And the provisions regarding the use of force still stand.54

The NGO Law

Since 2013, the Egyptian government has been characterizing civil society actors, especially human rights organizations and legal assistance organizations, as seditious elements. The aim is to curb public awareness, keep people from listening to those who are not under the regime’s direct control, and justify referring civil society actors to trial for their actions. To that end, legal tools have been adapted extensively.

In 2002, an NGO law was enacted that essentially allowed the government to restrict the establishment of NGOs, subject them to heavy bureaucratic control (represented by the Ministry of Social Solidarity), and limit their funding—thus generally compromising the independence of civil society. The law also endowed the executive authority—represented by the security and intelligence services—with extensive tools for surveilling, interfering with, and disrupting civil society activities. Following their coup, the generals initially made no attempt to amend this law.

In the winter of 2016, however, the legislature—the House of Representatives—replaced this NGO law with a new piece of legislation targeting civil society.55 The draft legislation was put forward by a pro-government member of Parliament, few adjustments to the draft were made,56 and virtually no debate about it in Parliament took place. This has reemphasized the rubber-stamp role of Parliament as an enabler of the new authoritarianism in Egypt and is yet another attempt to eliminate the freedom of association enshrined in the constitution. Upon the president’s final approval and subsequent enactment of the law,57 this legislation will enable the government to apply more pressure on civil society.

The legislation acknowledges the right of NGOs to register with the Ministry of Social Solidarity by notification. However, it also gives the ministry the power to decline registration without judicial approval for a litany of reasons. Some of these reasons are technical, such as the lack of application data pertaining to the founders. Others, however, are malleable, such as the “involvement of founders in prohibited or punishable activities,” according to the Penal Code or any other law.

These [legal] stipulations aim to separate NGOs from labor and trade unions in need of civil society support to defend the rights and freedoms of their members.

The new legislation adds other restrictions as well. NGOs that engage in activities reserved for political parties have traditionally been banned; such activities include encouraging citizens to join a specific political party, promoting a certain candidate in an election, or raising funds for a specific election campaign. The new legislation also includes a ban on organizations that intrude on the domains of labor and trade unions and professional syndicates. Moreover, it bars organizations from forming in areas that are labeled harmful to the nation. These stipulations aim to separate NGOs from labor and trade unions in need of civil society support to defend the rights and freedoms of their members. They leave the unions more vulnerable to repressive measures if they oppose official policies.58 Furthermore, civil society actors are not permitted to engage with professional syndicates, such as the journalists’ and doctors’ syndicates, that resist the grip of the new authoritarianism; this action is criminalized in the new legislation. The NGO legislation effectively undermines opportunities for rights groups such as the Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights and the Center for Trade Union and Workers Services to register as NGOs and operate legally.59

Violations come with hefty administrative penalties, fines, and periods of imprisonment; and they remain legally unspecified—as is the case with engagement in so-called harmful activities. The lack of objective legal definitions creates additional avenues for repression and subjects civil society activists to permanent threats of bans, criminalization of their practices, and other punishments. All of this contributes to a prevailing fear of being targeted.

Additional articles are designed to eliminate the autonomy of NGOs and subject them to full-scale security control. These efforts have pushed civil society in Egypt to the brink of extinction, with some organizations closing or leaving the country.60 The legislation includes a new governmental body called the National Agency for Organizing the Operation of Foreign NGOs. This agency is dominated by high-profile ministers, including the ministers of defense, interior, justice, and foreign affairs, as well as other potentially concerned ministries. A number of high-profile organizations also have representatives in the agency, including the General Intelligence Directorate, the Egyptian Central Bank, and the Administrative Control Authority. The agency has jurisdiction over approving the establishment of foreign NGOs in Egypt or authorizing their activities, and it could be on the way to becoming the government’s most important body in administering the affairs of both domestic and foreign NGOs.

The agency’s jurisdiction extends beyond domains related to foreign NGOs and their cooperation with domestic counterparts. It oversees all the financial transactions of both domestic and foreign NGOs. The agency monitors the transfer of funds from international NGOs to their offices in Egypt, the receipt of foreign funds by domestic NGOs, and donations to NGOs from groups and individuals both in Egypt and abroad. It requires NGOs to provide a confirmation of expenditure to ensure that approved funds are spent for the approved purposes. This adds a second layer of financial scrutiny because NGOs are already overseen by the Central Auditing Agency.

The government seems to have invented the National Agency for Organizing the Operation of Foreign NGOs to legally enshrine full-scale security control over NGOs. It also serves to concentrate the government’s administration of NGOs in the hands of this security-dominated agency and thus sidelines bureaucracies such as the Ministry of Social Solidarity. Among other things, the Ministry of Social Solidarity must notify the agency of foreign and domestic NGOs’ requests to receive funding. The agency can veto these requests outright, and if it approves the requests, it retains the right to retract the approvals later, ensuring the full control of funds both retroactively and proactively.

The new authoritarian regime can diminish the funds that domestic NGOs use to perform the economic, social, developmental, and charitable functions on which many people depend.

Because of these gatekeeping roles, the agency has become a rogue authority—one that will likely discourage Egyptian citizens from donating to Egyptian NGOs. In this way, the new authoritarian regime can diminish the funds that domestic NGOs use to perform the economic, social, developmental, and charitable functions on which many people depend. The agency threatens NGOs with surveillance, penalties, and criminalization at all levels: registration, planning and execution of activities, domestic and foreign fund raising, and the collection of donations. NGOs can be targeted at any level if their actions do not align with the interests of the security services.

The NGO legislation virtually eliminates freedom of association and threatens the survival of civil society as a foundational pillar of stability and prosperity. It also is on track to drive the few foreign NGOs that remain out of Egypt and constrict any cooperation left between them and their domestic counterparts.

Compounding the pressure on civil society is a bundle of legal and administrative measures enacted prior to the new NGO legislation. These measures allow the government to revoke NGOs’ licenses to operate based on dubious claims of violating administrative terms and conditions. For example, the government revoked the license of the Nadeem Center for the Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence and Torture—one of the most active rights groups in Egypt—citing administrative violations.61

The Penal Code

Of all the presidential decrees established since 2013, the amendment of Article 78 of the Egyptian Penal Code carries the most indiscriminate implications.

On September 21, 2014, Sisi amended Article 78 using his interim legislative prerogative in the absence of Parliament.62 The amendment essentially criminalizes the public and peaceful activities of individuals and NGOs that the new authoritarian regime classifies as enemies and conspirators, thereby commandeering their freedom of association and right to operate legally.63

The article of concern is vague, stipulating the criminalization of specific acts without defining them in an objective legal manner. The first paragraph provides an example:

She/he who requests for her/himself or another or who accepted, even through a medium, from a foreign country or those who are working for its benefit, from an individual or a recognized legal entity, from a local or foreign organization, or from any other entity not affiliated with a foreign country and does not work in its favor liquid or transferred money, hardware/machinery, equipment, weapons, or ammunition or the like or other things, or promised something similar—to intent—onally commit any act that harms the national interest or jeopardizes the independence of the country or its unity or the safety and security of its lands or to commit any acts of hostility against Egypt or to breach public peace and order—is penali—ed with life imprisonment and a fine of not less than 500,000 pounds and not more than what she/he was given or promised.64

The criminalization of the receipt of funds, hardware/machinery, equipment, weapons, and ammunition is both normal and expected if these items are collected with the intent of jeopardizing the security of the country or carrying out hostile acts (though further discussion would be needed about the legal definition of jeopardizing security and committing hostile acts). However, the same cannot be said when the amended text criminalizes acts that “could harm the nation’s interest” or “breach public peace and order.” These concepts are inherently undefinable in an objective manner and result in legal ambiguities that the government uses as a tool of repression.

Equally unorthodox in legal terms is the lack of an objective, substantive definition of the contraband addressed in Article 78. Instead, the legislation relies on ambiguous phrasing, such as “or other things.” Terms that allow for a wide range of interpretations by the government are codified throughout the amended text in additional vague statements, such as “the same penalty shall apply to her/him, who gave or offered or promised something with the intention of committing a harmful act”; and in the third paragraph, harsh penalties—including the death penalty—are imposed in cases of “mediating in harmful acts,” without any definition of what constitutes mediation.

Article 78 blurs the lines in many ways. It subjects NGOs working on rights and freedoms to the same surveillance and criminalization as proven participants in acts of terror, violence, and espionage. There are no clear-cut and substantial differences between acts of terrorism and violence rightfully classified as hostile acts on the one hand and the legitimate activities of rights groups documenting human rights abuses and defending victims on the other.65 The lines between the criminal receipt of weapons and ammunition with the purpose of committing acts of violence and the receipt of computers and printers that NGOs need to manage their activities have disappeared.

The Terrorism Law

The government’s adoption and subsequent exploitation of laws did not stop with the Protest Law and the Penal Code. A terrorism law was also issued, in addition to several amendments designed to augment the jurisdiction of the military court system in a manner that undermines the rule of law and threatens the safeguards of basic rights and freedoms. On February 24, 2015, Sisi issued a decree known as the Law of Organizing the Lists of Terrorist Entities and Terrorists (known as the Terrorism Law). This law further enables the government to legally surveil and penalize those individuals and organizations who peacefully oppose official policies and practices.

The law creates an environment in which accusations of terrorism can be used without legal restraint against opponents of the new authoritarianism.

The law creates an environment in which accusations of terrorism can be used without legal restraint against opponents of the new authoritarianism. This is because the law encompasses the same vague terms and concepts that have come to be the main feature of lawmaking since the 2013 coup. Such language and notions systematically conflate crimes committed by violent groups with citizens’ and NGOs’ activities when their use of freedom of expression and freedom of association collide with official policies. The phrasing “breaches to public order” is used to describe these inherently different acts, and the classification of so-called hostile entities as terrorist entities does not use violence as a defining benchmark. The law defines a terrorist entity in Article 1:

The associations, organizations, groups, gangs, cells, or other formations, whenever they exercised or intended to call for the harm of individuals and the spreading of panic among them; to put their lives, freedoms, rights, or security in danger; to harm the environment, natural resources, monuments, or communications or land, air, or sea transportation or public and private properties; to occupy or prevent or obstruct state institutions, municipalities, houses of worship or hospitals, scientific institutions or other public facilities, diplomatic and consular missions, or regional and international organizations in Egypt from carrying out their work and exercising some or all of their activities, or are engaged in resisting them, or disrupting public or private transportation; or intended to call by any means for the breaching of public order, endangering social peace and national security, resisting constitutional and legal provisions, preventing any state institution from carrying out its activities, or threatening individual freedoms or public freedoms enshrined in the constitution.66

Additionally, the law regulates the procedures for placing individuals on terrorist lists. Article 3 includes a provision delegating jurisdiction over this process to one or more criminal circuit courts in Cairo’s Court of Appeals, following a formal request by the state prosecutor. The criminal circuit courts are required to adjudicate requests within seven days of the state prosecutor filing the necessary paperwork.

Notably, the Terrorism Law does not require the government’s accusations of terrorist involvement to be proven through transparent judicial proceedings before individuals are placed on the list. Rather, the listing process has become a kind of cooperative administrative effort between the state prosecutor’s office and the criminal circuit courts.

The law also does not clearly identify the paperwork necessary for requesting the classification of an entity or individual as a terrorist. Further, it does not allow concerned entities and individuals to appeal their classification until after their listing, and it designates the Court of Cassation (the court’s criminal circuit) the responsibility for adjudicating appeals without specifying a time period for issuing decisions. This deprives the listed entities and individuals of their constitutional and legal right to a fair trial prior to conviction.

The Terrorism Law does not require the government’s accusations of terrorist involvement to be proven through transparent judicial proceedings before individuals are placed on the list.

Listed entities and individuals can experience a wide spectrum of potential effects: the confiscation of organizational and financial assets, the revoking of NGO licenses; the banning of enrolled individuals from travel and seizing or annulling of their passports; the stipulation that these individuals have legally lost the good reputation necessary to hold office; and based on that, the barring of them from running for public and parliamentary positions. The law mandates that these actions be taken immediately following placement on the terrorist lists.67

The Military Court Law

Another law has led to an unprecedented expansion of the role of the military court system and the referral of civilians to military tribunals.68 Sisi issued the Military Court Law by presidential decree in 2014. The law stipulates that the army shall assist the police force in securing and protecting public institutions, offices, and facilities. It justifies this mandate by stating that these sites—including public universities and government-owned industrial facilities—and all the activities unfolding in and around them fall under the jurisdiction of the military court system for the duration of the protection period, which is left unspecified and can therefore be extended endlessly.

The main mechanism of intimidation associated with the law has been civilian referrals to military tribunals, which are infamous for their lack of transparency and safeguards for fair litigation.

The main mechanism of intimidation associated with the law has been civilian referrals to military tribunals, which are infamous for their lack of transparency and safeguards for fair litigation. The government has systematically conflated peaceful public assemblies, rallies, demonstrations, sit-ins, and other protest activities occurring at public sites protected by the army with acts of violence.69 And this conflation has provided grounds for the referral of university students, industrial workers, and labor activists participating in peaceful protest to military tribunals.

This contradicts the constitutionally enshrined right of each citizen to be tried by his or her natural judge—that is, in a civilian tribunal. There is no judicial body that can rein in military jurisdiction, so prosecuted individuals are deprived of the safeguards of their rights and freedoms that are part of litigation in civilian tribunals.

More than 7,000 civilian cases were referred to military courts between 2014 and 2015.70 This is a drastic increase from the already elevated rates of such referrals from 2011 to 2014, which amounted to approximately 11,000 cases; and it is evidence of how lawmaking has been adapted to the needs of the new authoritarian government.71 Similar to the Protest Law, Penal Code, and Terrorism Law, the expansion of the jurisdiction of the military court system subjects citizens and NGOs to the constant threat of surveillance and punishment. It adds to the government’s legal tools for closing the public space and implementing repressive policies.

The Role of the Elected Legislature

From early 2016 to September 2016, the House of Representatives ratified the protest and terrorism laws; the amended military court law; and the amended Penal Code, including Article 78. In fact, the House of Representatives approved without revision or even substantial discussion 342 out of 343 presidential decrees issued by interim president Adly Mansour and the current president, Sisi. These acts of submission to the executive branch of government run counter to the spirit of the oversight prerogatives bestowed upon the legislature in the 2014 constitution, which calls for serious deliberations prior to the ratification of presidential decrees.72

The only law rejected by a majority of the legislature was the 2015 presidential decree on civil service.73 Even in this case, the law was amended slightly and passed at the end of Parliament’s first session,74 again with little consideration given to details. These moves indicate that the legislature is loyal to the executive, a loyalty that was imposed by the dominant role the military establishment and security and intelligence services played in managing the parliamentary elections in 2015 and manipulating their results.75

What is more, the unwillingness of the legislature to exercise its constitutional right to legislative review demonstrates the House’s complicity in curtailing the rights and freedoms of Egypt’s citizens. The speaker of the House of Representatives—a legal expert by training—lauded parliamentarians for ratifying 342 presidential decree laws in record time, not exceeding fifteen days per law.76 Further undermining any notion of legislative autonomy, he praised the House for its “high care” for presidential preferences.77

The Realities of Repression

These government tactics and efforts amount to an unprecedented crackdown. According to various human rights organizations, the number of those detained and imprisoned between 2013 and 2016 is almost 60,000.78 To accommodate them, the Egyptian authorities have begun construction work on more than ten new prisons.79 Local and international human rights organizations have thoroughly documented forced disappearances, estimating the rate to be, on average, three to four cases per day.80 There have been mass killings,81 and local human rights organizations reported 326 extrajudicial killings committed by the security and intelligence services in 2015—a number that rose to 754 cases in the first half of 2016 alone.82 In August 2016, the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms released a report on prison conditions in Egypt, documenting 1,344 incidents of torture (including direct evidence of torture and intentional medical neglect) in detention facilities and prisons between 2015 and 2016.83 Several international human rights organizations have confirmed the findings.84

The government is using its new legal tools to achieve these ends; and the circle of enemies subject to these tactics includes actors considered long-time adversaries as well as new opposition voices.

Targeting Islamists

The Muslim Brotherhood has been one of the new authoritarian regime’s prime targets for some time. In the summer of 2013, the Muslim Brotherhood was at the core of what the government designated enemies of the nation. A few hours before the July 3, 2013, military coup that overthrew an elected president from the ranks of the Muslim Brotherhood, several leaders of the Brotherhood were imprisoned. The list included former president Morsi, his aides, high-ranking members in the Brotherhood and its Freedom and Justice Party, and leaders and high-ranking members of other like-minded movements and political parties. Leaders of the Salafi groups that opposed the coup and demanded Morsi’s return to office were also imprisoned. The large number of arrests, which continued after the coup,85 has been a key component of the government’s systematic repression of Islamists.

Arrest warrants for Islamist leaders continue to be issued, with the objective of weakening the movements and discouraging recruitment.86 The security services have repeatedly violated the rights and freedoms of the Muslim Brotherhood’s rank and file. State-sponsored extrajudicial killings occurred several times, most notably with the murders of former Freedom and Justice Party parliamentarian Nasser al-Hafi in the summer of 2015 and of Mohamed Kamal, a member of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Guidance Office, in the fall of 2016. The security services have tortured some Islamist prisoners and detainees and neglected the medical needs of others, leading to their deaths in places of custody.87

Mass killings and the violent dispersal of the Brotherhood’s sit-ins are arguably the most tragic of these transgressions. After the coup, the military and the security services used excessive force to end protests by Brotherhood supporters and did not shy away from shedding blood.88 And on August 14, 2013, police units accompanied by military reinforcements moved to disperse the Brotherhood’s sit-ins in the Rabaa and Nahda squares in the Cairo and Giza governorates. They used armored bulldozers and snipers, shooting protesters with live ammunition in their heads, necks, and chests. The terrifying result has been labeled a massacre in which almost 1,000 Egyptians were killed. Neither the police, nor the military, nor government decisionmakers were held accountable for the massacre, criminally or politically.89

Alongside state-sponsored violence and brutality, the new authoritarian government has used various legal and judicial instruments to repress the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition Salafi groups.

Alongside state-sponsored violence and brutality, the new authoritarian government has used various legal and judicial instruments to repress the Muslim Brotherhood and opposition Salafi groups. In September 2013, a court ordered the movement banned and its financial assets frozen.90 In October 2013, the government created an executive commission outside of the judiciary to confiscate the financial assets of the Brotherhood and its members.91 This was followed by executive decisions to seize the assets of a diverse array of individuals—some of them known to be members of the Muslim Brotherhood, others not.92 The government declared the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization in December 2013, mandated its dissolution, and reasserted the policy of confiscating its financial assets.93 In August 2014, the administrative court system revoked the license of the Freedom and Justice Party and mandated its dissolution.94 Court proceedings were rapidly initiated against Islamist leaders as well as against thousands of members of and sympathizers with the Muslim Brotherhood. Harsh prison sentences, including mass death sentences, have been issued without adherence to the principles of the rule of law and fair trials.94

The sustained use of both state-sponsored violence and systematic repression has weakened considerably the Brotherhood and other Islamist groups in the opposition. It also has resulted in a wave of mass migration of Brotherhood members to regional and other international destinations.96

Nearly every failure of official economic and social policies has been attributed to the Brotherhood through fabricated conspiracy theories.

All this has been unfolding in a public space void of freedom of expression and injected with government-backed hate speech and hysterical hostility toward the Muslim Brotherhood.97 Charges of undermining Egypt’s stability, sabotaging the national economy, and disrupting developmental efforts have been leveled against the Brotherhood.98 Indeed, nearly every failure of official economic and social policies has been attributed to the Brotherhood through fabricated conspiracy theories.99 The Brotherhood, conceptualized in the government’s discourse and in the public space permeated with hate speech as the archetypal “other,”100 is depicted as fighting foreign investments and destroying the economy with terrorist attacks,101 interfering with foreign currency exchange rates, and devaluing the Egyptian pound through the activities of its exchange companies.102 According to official statements issued by the security services, to discredit the government and deepen social crises, the “Brotherhood and other rogue elements” have campaigned to undermine the delivery of basic services and incited citizens to avoid paying their cost.103 The government has also intentionally conflated the Brotherhood’s and the Salafi opposition’s agendas with those of jihadi groups to stigmatize them with labels of extremism and terrorism.104

State-owned newspapers have consistently described the 2013 coup as a “revolution” and a “national victory over the Muslim Brotherhood’s conspiracy to overthrow Egypt.”105 Private newspapers, which are controlled by the security and intelligence services, have been citing identical accusations against the Muslim Brotherhood as a group “conspiring with foreign actors, engaged in violence and terrorism, and seeking to destroy the state.”106 Public and private media outlets have escalated their dissemination of mostly anonymous reports from so-called security and intelligence sources concerning the Brotherhood’s alleged criminal schemes.107 These reports have framed the Brotherhood as spreading chaos through continuous protests, sit-ins and strikes, lockouts of governmental institutions, disruptions of economic activity, and terrorist attacks on military and police facilities.108

Targeting Civil Society Activists

Gradually, the new authoritarian government has widened its repression of the opposition to targets beyond the Islamist spectrum.

Using the media, the government has placed under the umbrella of enemies a number of human rights activists and pro-democracy civil society leaders who have been trying to draw attention to the deteriorating human rights situation in Egypt since 2013.109 They have been accused of constituting a so-called fifth column, of attempting to threaten national security and destroy the military establishment and security services through the “propagation of false claims” regarding human rights abuses,110 and of conspiring in favor of foreign actors.111 They have also been accused of conspiring to carry out what have been termed Brotherhood schemes,112 receiving foreign funds to spread chaos and fragment the country and exhausting state and society through continuous internal conflicts.113

The government has used punitive litigation under the auspices of its many new laws to surveil and stifle individual voices of dissent in civil society. In October 2015, for example, state security forces arrested journalist and chairman of the Mada Foundation for Media Development’s board of trustees, Hesham Gaafar, because of his organization’s concern for media freedom issues and its role in fostering community dialogue designed to prevent violence.114 He was charged with affiliation with the Muslim Brotherhood. These charges allowed him to be punished under the Terrorism Law. Gaafar was also charged with receiving international bribes, which qualifies him for punishment under Article 78 of the Penal Code.115 He was sentenced to time in prison—originally until autumn 2015, but the term was extended until autumn 2016. Gaafar remains in custody as of late 2016; his bribery case is pending investigation.116

The government has used punitive litigation under the auspices of its many new laws to surveil and stifle individual voices of dissent in civil society.

Similarly, lawyer Negad El-Borai was summoned for questioning before multiple judicial bodies in 2015 and 2016 because of his involvement with Egyptian judges and lawmakers in the drafting of an anti-torture law.117 He was accused of a wide range of violations, mostly related to his management of an “unlicensed group.”118 According to state security services, Borai, through his organization, incited resistance against the authorities, engaged in human rights activities without a license, received illicit funds, and deliberately broadcasted false news with the intent of disturbing public order and security and harming the public interest.119

Security forces also arrested lawyer Ahmed Abdallah, chairman of the board of trustees of the Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms,120 on April 25, 2016, after he called for a peaceful demonstration to protest the agreement of demarcation of the maritime borders between Egypt and Saudi Arabia (known in the media as the agreement of Tiran and Sanafir). The agreement ceded sovereignty over the islands to Saudi Arabia, after being managed for decades by the Egyptian authorities. The state prosecutor made myriad accusations against Abdallah, ranging from “incitement to use force to overthrow the ruling regime” and conspiring to overthrow the constitution and the public to “broadcasting news and statements and false rumors that are likely to disturb public order and security and to cause damage among people and the public interest.” Criminal courts ruled to renew his detention on multiple occasions between April and September 2016.121

The state prosecutor and the courts use a biased legal framework built around the NGO Law to restrict the right of civil society organizations to obtain official licenses, forcing them to register as private nonprofit companies.

The government’s practice of judicially sanctioned surveillance of civil society actors is not limited to the cases of Gaafar, Borai, and Abdallah. It includes other individuals who defend human rights and freedoms, such as the lawyers Malek Adly and Haitham Mohamadein.122

Nor is the siege of civil society judicially limited to tracking individuals. It also extends to collective judicial proceedings against NGOs.123 Case number 173 of 2011, popularized in the media as the case of civil society organizations’ funding, most clearly demonstrates the surveillance practices and methods of collective punishment utilized by the regime to pressure civil society. The case began in December 2011, when the state prosecutor accused forty-three individuals of managing “unlicensed organizations” and “obtain[ing] funds from foreign governments and parties” without the regulatory approval of the proper authorities.124 The accused parties included both Egyptian and foreign NGO workers. In June 2013, a criminal court sentenced all defendants to prison terms ranging from one to five years. The largest number of sentences were issued in absentia because the majority of the defendants were not present in Egypt. The court also has sanctioned the closure of foreign NGOs, including the International Republican Institute, the National Democratic Institute, Freedom House, the International Center for Journalism, and the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung foundation.125

In 2014, through so-called investigation judges, the state prosecutor filed a similar set of charges aimed at several Egyptian NGOs involved in human rights advocacy and the general push for liberties. In 2014 and 2015, the state prosecutor imposed several travel bans on human rights defenders and actors in organizations such as the Egyptian Democratic Institute, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies, the Hisham Mubarak Law Center, the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information, and the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. Court proceedings against various NGO workers began in 2016.126

In their decisions, the state prosecutor and the courts use a biased legal framework built around the NGO Law to restrict the right of civil society organizations to obtain official licenses, forcing them to register as private nonprofit companies. NGOs’ lack of formal government recognition gives the regime an opportunity to press charges against potentially dissenting organizations as so-called nonlicensed organizations that oppose the laws of the country.

The decisions make use of the ambiguous language in the Egyptian legislative framework regarding the right of civil society actors to receive external funds and the conditions applied to their dispersal. Moreover, the transfer of all funds to civil society actors is conducted through Egypt’s Central Bank, which requires civil society organizations to register as nonprofit groups, submit additional legal paperwork, and disclose details of their funding, eliminating any sense of privacy.127

With these measures, the Egyptian authorities disregard the fact that the administrative court system (in defiance of the NGO Law) approved the right of “NGOs to receive grants and foreign funds to contribute to developmental issues” in 2016.128

Other NGOs faced dissolution due to unsubstantiated accusations that they are affiliated with the Muslim Brotherhood.129 Organizations charged with Brotherhood connections had their funds and financial assets confiscated in accordance with a 2014 law that established a Committee for the Confiscation and Management of the Muslim Brotherhood’s Funds.130

An Ever-Widening Circle of Enemies

Other voices of dissent have been targeted, including businesspeople whose refusal to provide financial support to the government’s mega-construction projects has led to the confiscation of their assets and other abuses and also journalists whose independent reporting has resulted in accusations of terrorist affiliations and mock trials.131 Student protests on university campuses and labor protests in industrial facilities have been met with excessive force, and protesters have been subjected to various kinds of state-sponsored violence, including long provisional detention, dismissal from universities, and ready-made prison sentences.132 Labor activists have been sent to military trials and have faced disciplinary sanctions.133

The government has attempted to increase its surveillance of social media networks, detained and imprisoned several young bloggers, and imposed a new cybercrimes law.

The ever-widening circle of enemies includes groups of young citizens who spearheaded the 2011 revolution, opposed the 2013 coup, and have continued to peacefully protest repressive policies.134 Capitalizing on their strong presence in social media networks, young Egyptians have refused to bow to the new authoritarian regime’s demands for obedience, and they succeeded as early as 2013 in challenging the government’s denial that it has committed human rights abuses.135 In response, the government has attempted to increase its surveillance of social media networks, detained and imprisoned several young bloggers, and imposed a new cybercrimes law that is tailored to repress independent bloggers and curtail freedom of expression.136

Public and private media outlets controlled by Egypt’s security forces have denied any government involvement in violence and abuses and accused human rights activists and pro-democracy groups of propagating false claims. When the documentation of abuses and violations has been impossible to deny, public and private media outlets have justified them by promoting hate speech directed toward the victims and the government’s opponents in general. This happened in the case of the murder of leftist activist Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, who was shot in 2015 during a peaceful march to commemorate the fourth anniversary of the 2011 revolution. Her killing was first denied by the security forces, and media outlets followed suit, leveling a range of accusations against the victim. Later, security forces and media outlets acknowledged that she was killed by rubber bullets fired to disperse the march and falsely blamed the demonstrators for inciting violence.137

Sometimes, victims of state-sponsored violence are labeled collectively as terrorists, and killing them indiscriminately is justified as the legitimate right of the government. Since 2013, the military and security forces operating in Sinai have been announcing the deaths of scores of alleged terrorists almost daily. Their identities are rarely revealed, their personal stories are never discussed, and the coverage of public and private media outlets is confined to proclaiming continuous government successes in fighting terrorism.138 Other times, the victims are defamed with arbitrary accusations of involvement in inciting violence or extremism. Here, also, the pro-government media has branded human rights activists and pro-democracy groups with false criminal identities, such as “evil people” and the “forces of chaos,” and in doing so, has defended repressive measures against them as legitimate tools to safeguard the country.139

Reflecting on the Crackdown and the Closure of Public Space

Contrary to the baseless accusations leveled against human rights activists and pro-democracy groups, it is the new authoritarian government, through continuous abuses and violations, that undermines stability and security. Sharp conflicts between the government and various local communities and growing grievances among wide segments of the embattled population have eroded social cohesion. Injustices and repressive policies have diminished popular trust in the government, and the civil-military imbalance and absence of accountability have considerably weakened the state apparatus.140

The government has promoted the labeling of opponents as enemies, terrorists, and violent actors with little concern for the dangerous repercussions such arbitrary labels have on Egypt’s societal fabric. And it has done so without appreciating the negative impacts on notions of justice and the rule of law and without realizing the correlations between all this and the spread of radical ideas among the constituencies of excluded movements and groups. What is more, the government’s dependence on repressive policies and security measures marred with state-sponsored violence to fight terrorism has transformed some local environments—especially in Sinai—into “incubators” of violence.141

The murders of innocent citizens are either labeled legitimate counterterrorism measures or legitimate law enforcement efforts.

In the security-controlled public space and formal political arena, officials who adopt the most extreme versions of hate speech and vengeance have enjoyed a broader presence.142 Television presenters, journalists, opinion makers, and pundits who have come to prominence after the coup are those who defame the victims of the new authoritarianism and pressure citizens into acquiescence in the face of wide-scale repression and growing human rights abuses. To them, facts are of no value and baseless accusations are the best tools to silence opponents and critics. The murders of innocent citizens are either labeled legitimate counterterrorism measures or legitimate law enforcement efforts; forced disappearances of young activists are acts of containment targeting dangerous terrorists.143

The government has implicated the long list of enemies and conspirators—the “evil people” per the current president144—in alleged plots and conspiracies that aim to undermine the nation’s stability and security, to impose chaos and destruction, and to fragment the state and the army.145 These people have been indiscriminately, and without any solid proof, accused of committing acts of violence, receiving foreign funds illegally, and serving the interests of hostile regional and other external powers.146

Fundamental to these efforts has been the legal system. The new authoritarian regime is using lawmaking to besiege the opposition and civil society and to curtail peaceful activism.147 It has thus far acted methodically, as demonstrated by the broad targeting of Islamists, those voicing dissent, human rights activists, pro-democracy student groups, labor activists, and NGOs. Imprisonment, detention, displacement of individuals and organizations, forced disappearances, and extrajudicial killings have become the price for not acquiescing to the injustice and oppression that form the bedrock of Egypt’s new authoritarianism.

There is no denying that the new authoritarian formula of repression, hate speech, and the elimination of basic rights and freedoms using lawmaking has been effective in curtailing resistance to Egypt’s ruling generals. Islamist movements have been weakened, while liberal and leftist parties have been once again either domesticated or marginalized in a formal political arena controlled by the security and intelligence services. Human rights defenders and independent NGOs have been pushed to the edge of extinction, engaged in an existential struggle against government sanctions and repression.

In sum, Egypt’s reality since 2013 is characterized by the success of the new authoritarian approach in closing the public space and pushing out pluralist politics. However, an embryonic resistance seems to be emerging in key sectors of society. Seeing both movements and parties weakened and civil society besieged, pro-democracy groups and young activists have mobilized using alternative ideas and platforms. For an analysis, see the author’s complementary paper, Egypt’s Resilient and Evolving Social Activism (forthcoming, 2017).


1 “Egypt Presidential Election Observation Report,”Democracy International, July 2014,, 4–35.

2 “Egypt,” in World Report 2013, ed. Human Rights Watch (Washington, DC: Human Rights Watch, 2013); “Egypt,” inWorld Report 2014, ed. Human Rights Watch (Washington DC: Human Rights Watch, 2014),; “Egypt,” in World Report 2015, ed. Human Rights Watch(Washington DC: Human Rights Watch, 2015),; “Egypt,” in World Report 2016, ed. Human Rights Watch (Washington DC: Human Rights Watch, 2016),

3 “Egypt Security Watch: January–March 2016,” Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy,, 4–30.

4 ‘Omar Sa‘eed, “Madha Ta‘ny ‘Audet al-‘Amaleyat al-Irhabeya al-Naw‘eya Fey Sinai” [What is the significance of large-scale terrorist operations returning to Sinai?], Mada Masr, October 19, 2016,سياسة/ماذا-تعني-عودة-العمليات-الإرهابية-الن/.

5 Isabel Esterman, “A History of Forced Relocations,” Mada Masr,November 5, 2014,; Omar Ryad, “Living Under Curfew: Arish Transforms Into a Ghost Town,” Mada Masr, November 1, 2014,

6 “‘An Tamout Beselah al-Nesyan Fey al-Sejoun’…Resala men Motahmeen Fey Qadeyeit Fad Rab‘aa [“To die by the weapon of oblivion in prison”…A letter from the cccused in the Rab‘aa Massacre], Mada Masr, May 9, 2016,سياسة/أن-تموت-بسلاح-النسيان-في-السجون-رسالة/.

7 Radwa Mohamed, “‘Hasm’ ‘Ala Khuta Da‘esh…al-Haraka Tarfa‘ Shi‘ar ‘al-Jihad’...Fahal Youbaye‘ al-Ikhwan al-Tanzeem al-Irhaby” [“Hasm” following in the footsteps of Daesh…The movement uses “Jihad” as a slogan…Will the Brotherhood pay allegiance to the terrorist organization?], Ahl Misr, January 12, 2017,حسم--على-خطى-داعش---الحركة-ترفع-شعار--الجهاد-----فهل-يبايع-الإخوان-التنظيم-الإرهابي؟

8 Randa Elnagar, “A Chance for Change: IMF Agreement to Help Bring Egypt’s Economy to Its Full Potential,” International Monetary Fund,November 11, 2016,

9 “Motawaset al-Dakhl al-Sanawy lel-Osra” [Average annual income for families], Egyptian Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics,

10 “Bayanat al-Tadakhom Yanayer 2017” [Inflation numbers in January 2017], Central Bank of Egypt, January 2017,

11 Elena Holodny, “Egypt Just Massively Devalued Its Currency—Here’s What Happens Next,” Business Insider, November 4, 2016,

12 Enas Hamed, “As Gulf Aid Dries Up, Egypt Struggles,” Al-Monitor, December 30, 2014,

13 Bureau of Economic and Business Affairs, “Investment Climate Statements for 2016,” U.S. Department of State, 2016,

14 Beesan Kassab, “Nomow al-Tejara al-‘Alameya wa As‘ar al-Betrol Youhadedan Iradat Qanat al-Suweis Fey 2017” [Growth of global trade and oil prices threaten Suez Canal revenues of 2017], Mada Masr, August 25, 2016,اقتصاد/نمو-التجارة-العالمية-وأسعار-البترول-ي/; Mostafa Mohy, “Yehia Shawkat: “al-‘Asema al-Jedida” Mashrou‘ ‘Eqary Dakhm Doun Derasat Ijtema‘eya wa Iqtasadeya” [Egypt’s new capital: A mega construction project without social or economic studies], Mada Masr, March 22, 2015, سياسة/يحيى-شوكت-العاصمة-الجديدة-مشروع-عقاري/; and Mostafa Mohy, “al-‘Asema al-Idareya..Hal Lemashakel al-Qahera am Horoub Menha” [The administrative capital…A solution to Cairo’s problems or an escape from them?], Mada Masr,August 18, 2014, مجتمع/العاصمة-الإدارية-حل-لمشاكل-القاهرة-أم/ .

15 Mohamed Hamama, “Kam Yesawy Nashat al-Jeish al-Iqtesadey ‘endma Youqaderohu al-Sisi be 1.5% Men al-Iqtesad” [Sisi says military economy is 1.5% of Egypt’s GDP, but how much exactly is it?], Mada Masr, November 2, 2016,اقتصاد/كم-يساوي-نشاط-الجيش-الاقتصادي-عندما-يق/.

16 “Imbratoureyet al-Jeish al-Iqtesadeya: Da‘m al-Solta al-Hakema Youhaded Nofoudh al-Qita‘ al-Khas” [The military’s economic empire: The ruling power’s support threatens the influence of the private sector], Mada Masr, December 24, 2014,سياسة/إمبراطورية-الجيش-الاقتصادية-دعم-السل/.

17 Safiaa Mounir, “Egypt Launches New Programs to Address Poverty,” Al-Monitor, June 25, 2015,; Beesan Kassab, “‘Takaful wa Karama’…Da‘m la Yadfa‘u Faqran” [‘Solidairty and Dignity’ Program … Support that doesn’t alleviatefrom poverty], Mada Masr, February 7, 2017,اقتصاد/تكافل-وكرامة-دعمٌ-لا-يدفعُ-فقرًا/; “Building Resilience and Opportunity: Social Protection Reform in Egypt,” WorldBank, June 9, 2015,

18 Mahmoud ‘Abdel Qader, “Bakry Yohajem al-Barade‘i bel-Barleman: ‘Kha’en wa Yahmey al-Motamereen ‘Ala Masr’” [Bakry attacks el-Baradei in parliament: “A traitor who protects those who conspire against Egypt”], Masr al-Arabiya,October 16, 2016, الحياة-السياسية/1288385-بكرى-يهاجم-البرادعى-بالبرلمان-خائن-ويحمى-المتآمرين-على-مصر ; “Barlamany: ‘Human Rights Watch’ Monazema Mashbouha Tastaqy Ma‘loumataha Men al-Motamereen ‘Ala Masr” [Member of Parliament: Human Rights Watch is a suspicious organization that gathers its information from those who are conspiring against Egypt], Dot Masr, September 28, 2016, برلماني-هيومان-رايتس-ووتش-منظمة-مشبوهة-تستقي-معلوماتها-من-المتآمرين-على-مصر ; Mostafa Bakry, “al-Motameroun ‘Ala al-Sisi,” [Those conspiring against Sisi], al-Arabiya, August 23, 2016, المتآمرون-على-السيسى-.html; Heba ‘Afifi, “Ostourat al-Ayady al-Kharajeya…Arba‘et A‘wam Men al-Ibda‘ wa al-Baranoia” [The myth of foreign hands…Four years of creativity and paranoia], Mada Masr, February 2, 2015,سياسة/أسطورة-الأيادي-الخارجية-أربعة-أعوام-م/; Dalia Rabie‘, “Horoub al-Jeel al-Rabe‘…Ma‘raket Al‘ab al-‘Aql wa al-Kheda‘ al-Nafsy” [“‘Fourth generation warfare’ … the battle of mind games and psychological deception”], Mada Masr, September 8, 2015,سياسة/حروب-الجيل-الرابع-معركة-ألعاب-العقل-و/.com/ar/2015/09/10/feature/سياسة/حروب-الجيل-الرابع-معركة-ألعاب-العقل-و/.

19 “al-Sisi: Ihdharo Ahl al-Shar…Ya‘bathoun Fey ‘Oqoul al-Masryeeen ‘Ashan al-Donia Toqaf ” [Sisi: Beware of evil people…Messing with the minds of Egyptians so their life stops], YouTube video, 5:01, posted by “Ahalena-TV,” May 22, 2016,; “al-Sisi: Honak Mokhatat Tomawelohu Dowal Dedena…wa Ana Insan Entom Ekhtartou” [Sisi: There is a plot against us being funded by foreign states….and I am the person you have chosen], CNNArabic,January 10, 2017,

20 Clear examples of post-truth elements dominant in presidential speeches and statements can be found here: “ Ba‘d mema Tahdath behi al-Sisi Fey Gheit al-‘ Inab ” [ A few points from Sisi’s speech in Gheit al-‘ Inab], Mada Masr, September 26, 2017,سياسة/بعضٌ-مما-تحدث-به-السيسي-في-غيط-العنب/; “ Qabl Youm Men Tazahorat‘ al-Ard’... al-Sisi Yasta‘ een bel-Tamween wa al-Jeish le-Mouwajahat Irtefa‘ al-As‘ ar… wa Yohadher Men‘ Qowa al-Shar’”[ A day before the “ Earth” demonstrations … Sisi seeks the help of the Ministry of Supply and the army to counter the rising prices … And warns of the “ forces of evil”] Mada Masr, April 24, 2016,قبل-يوم-من-تظاهرات-الأرض-السيسي-يستعي/.

21 Maged ‘Atef, “al-Nezam al-Masry: ‘Abkareyet Sena‘et al-A‘da`” [The Egyptian regime: excellence in producing enemies], Raseef22, April 3, 2016,النظام-المصري-عبقرية-صناعة-الأعداء/; Amr Hamzawy, “Down by Law,” Diwan (blog), Carnegie Middle East Center, October 20, 2016,

22 Mahmoud Mahdy, “Video…Aly Gomaa: Ta‘at al-Sisi Men Ta‘at al-Rasoul” [Video…Aly Gomaa: Obedience to Sisi is part of the obedience to the Prophet], Masr al-Arabiya, August 4, 2015,توك-شو/683717-فيديو-على-جمعة-طاعة-السيسي-من-طاعة-الرسول.

23 Islam al-Messiri, “Thawrat al-Sisi al-Deeneya… ‘Aam Men Ta’mim al-Sha’n al-Deeni” [Sisi’s religious revolution… A year into the nationalization of religious affairs], Ida’at,July 30, 2015,; Ahmed Nassar, “baranoia al-Sisi” [Sisi’s paranoia], Sasa Post,June 8, 2015,

24 Ashraf ‘Abdel Hameed, “al-Sisi Ya`mor be-Idraj al-Akhlaq ka-Shart li-Taqyeem Tolab Masr Deraseyan” [Sisi orders the inclusion of ethics as a measure for assessing students in Egypt], al-Arabiya, June 23, 2015,السيسي-يأمر-بإدراج-الأخلاق-كشرط-لتقييم-طلاب-مصر-دراسيا-.html.

25 Gamal ‘Eid, “Qame‘ al-Hurreyat be-Ism al-Deen wa al-Akhlaq (Taqreer)” [Suppression of freedom in the name of religion and morality (report)], al-Masry al-Youm, October 14, 2015,; Declan Walsh, “Egypt’s President Turns to Religion to Bolster His Authority,” New York Times,January 9, 2016,

26 Mohamed al-‘Attar, “11/11 Tafweed Jadeed lel-Sisi Ded al-Irhab…wa Mogharedoun ‘Ofrom Ya Rayes’” [A new popular mandate for al-Sisi to fight terrorism on November 11, 2016—Twitter users to the president, “finish them”], al-Fagr, November 8, 2016,

27 Ahmed ‘Abdel Khaleq, “Malahem al-Jeish wa al-Sha‘ab” [The legends of the army and the people], al-Ahram al-Masa`y, September 4, 2016,الرأي-والرأي-الآخر/ملاحم-الجيش-والشعب.aspx.

28 ‘Abbas al-Melijy, “al-Harb ‘Ala al-Irhab al-Aswad” [The war on dark terrorism], Al-Ahram, January 18, 2017,تحقيقات/«الحرب»-على-الإرهاب-الأسود.aspx.

29 Mohamed Salah, “Wazeer al-Defa‘: Masr Tashhad Tahawelat Dakhma Leltanmeya al-Shamela” [Defense minister: Egypt is witnessing great transitions for total development], al-Wafd,January 3, 2017, أخبار-وتقارير/1436341-وزير-الدفاع-مصر-تشهد-تحولات-ضخمة-للتنمية-الشاملة; Hazem Abou Douma, “al-Qouwat al-Mosalaha Tohane` al-Ra`ees wa Tou`aked I‘tezazaha be-Injazat al-Tanmeya” [The armed forces congratulates the president and reaffirms its pride in the developmental accomplishments], al-Ahram,January 1, 2017,مصر/القوات-المسلحة-تهنئ-الرئيس-وتؤكد-اعتزازها-بإنجازات.aspx.

30 ‘Abdel Fattah Nassar, “‘Amr Adeeb lel-Masreyeen: Hatouly Badeel Afdal men al-Sisi” [Amr Adeeb to Egyptians: Bring me a better alternative to Sisi], al-Dostour, November 6, 2016,; Mohamed Abou ‘Awad, “Qadha`ef al-Nowab Tanfajer Fey Wajh ‘Essam Hajy” [Parliamentary representatives explode in Essam Hajy’s face], Barlmany,August 4, 2016,قذائف-النواب-تنفجر-فى-وجه-عصام-حجى-.

31 “Barlamany: al-Sisi Ya‘amal be-Mofradou wa `Ada` al-Hokouma Da‘eef” [Member of parliament: al-Sisi works alone and the government’s performance is weak], Moheet,October 19, 2016,برلماني-السيسي-يعمل-بمفرده-وأداء-الحك.html#.WIYSgGWMDVo; Mahmoud Hussein, “al-Na`eb Salah ‘Eissa: al-Sisi Ya‘amal be-Mofradou li-Saleh Masr wa ‘Aleina Da‘mo” [MP Salah Eissa: Sisi is working alone for Egypt and we need to support him], al-Youm al-Sabe‘,September 9, 2016,النائب-صلاح-عيسى-السيسى-يعمل-بمفرده-لصالح-مصر-وعلينا-دعمه/2877255; Mostafa Bakry, “Mostafa Bakry: al-Sisi Ya‘amal be-Mofradou wa Yenam Arbae‘ Sa‘at Faqat” [Mostafa Bakry: Sisi works alone and sleeps for only 4 hours daily], al-Wafd, October 23, 2015,أخبار-وتقارير/927516-مصطفى-بكري-السيسي-يعمل-بمفرده-وينام-4-ساعات-فقط-يوميًا.

32 Fatimah Jaber, “’Ghadan… Amrad al-Kabd Fey Mou`tamer ‘Elmy bi-Jame‘at Assiut” [Tomorrow…Liver diseases at a scientific conference held at the University of Assiut, al-Bawaba,November 12, 2013, cited in; Nabd al-Horeya, “Bel-Video: Mostafa Bakry Yasrokh ‘`Oksom be-Allah ma Hatetsalah Baladna illa idha kan Wazeer al-Tamween Rajel ‘Askary zay al-Sisi’” [Video: Mostafa Bakry yells “I swear our country will get better once the minister of supply is a military man like al-Sisi”], Nabd al-Horeya, August 29, 2016,; Mahmoud Abdel Moneim, “Video, ‘Azmy Mogahed: ‘Lazem al-Jeish Yodeer Wezaret al-Tarbeya wa al-Ta‘leem’” [Video, Azmy Mogahed: “The army must run the Ministry of Education”], Dot Masr, June 28, 2016,عزمي-مجاهد-لازم-الجيش-يدير-وزارة-التربية-والتعلي.

33 Mohamed al-Jaly, “al-Sisi: al-Dostour al-Masry Koteb be-Nawaya Hasana wal Deowal La Tobna bel-Nawaya al-Hasana” [Sisi: The Egyptian Constitution was written with good intentions and states are not built with good intentions], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, September 13, 2015,السيسى-الدستور-المصرى-كُتب-بنوايا-حسنة-والدول-لا-تبنى-بالنوايا/2346160.

34 Relevant constitutional articles are Article 203 and Article 234: “Dostour Masr al-Sader ‘Aam 2014” [The 2014 Egyptian Constitution], Constitute Project,August 19, 2016, Relevant laws granting de facto immunity to the military establishment and other security services are discussed later in this chapter.

35 The constitutional article governing the military court system is Article 204. See, ibid.

36 Lina Attalah and Mohamed Hamama, “The Armed Forces and Business: Economic Expansion in the Last 12 Months,” Mada Masr,September 9, 2016, The expansion of the economic and social role of the military establishment has been enabled legally by the Presidential Decree Number 446 for Year 2015. This decree allows the military establishment to create for profit corporations singlehandedly as well as in partnership with domestic and external investors. See, “Masr...Qarar Jumhoury Yoteeh lel-Jeish Ta’sees Sharekat ma‘a Ajaneb” [Egypt…A presidential decree allows the army to establish businesses with foreigners], al-Arabiya, December 4, 2015,مصر-قرار-جمهوري-يتيح-للجيش-تأسيس-شركات-مع-أجانب.html.

37 Reda Na‘eem and Mahmoud al-Waqe‘, “Qa`emat al-Mohafzeen: Khamas Lewa`at Shorta wa Arba‘e Jeish…wa Mohandessan” [List of governors: 5 police generals, 4 military generals, and two engineers], al-Masry al-Youm, December 26, 2015,; Sayed Radwan, “Ba‘d Ta‘eyeen Arba‘e Lewa`at Jodod…Saba‘et ‘Ashrat ‘Askary Yotouqoun Mohafazat Masr” [After the appointment of five new generals…17 military officers surround the governorates of Egypt], Rassd,September 11, 2016,; ‘Abdel Ghani Diab and Ahlam Hassanein, “Bel-Asma`…71 Jeneral taht Qobt Majles al-Nowab” [By names…71 generals under the dome of the House of Representatives], Masr Al-Arabiya, December 4, 2015,الحياة-السياسية/822786-بالأسماء-71-جنرال-تحت-قبة-مجلس-النواب.

38 Ashraf ‘Abdel Hameed, “Lemadha Najaha Dobat al-Jeish wa al-Mokhabarat be-Intikhabat Barlaman Masr?” [Why were military officers and intelligence officers successful in the Egyptian parliamentary elections], al-Arabiya, November 25, 2015,لماذا-نجح-ضباط-الجيش-والمخابرات-بانتخابات-برلمان-مصر؟.html; Hossam Bahgat, “Anatomy of an Election,” Mada Masr,March 14, 2016,; Ahmed Al-Sokry, “Nowab Hezb Watany wa Dobat…Ta‘raf ‘Ala Rou`asa` al-Lejan al-Naw‘eya be-Majles al-Nowab” [Members of the National Democratic Party and officers…Meet the committee heads of the House of Representatives], Dot Masr, April 24, 2016,نواب-حزب-وطني-وضباط-تعرف-على-رؤساء-اللجان-النوعية-بمجلس-النواب.

39 Basil El-Dabh and Bradley Youngblood, “What You Need to Know About Egypt’s Parliamentary Elections,” Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy, October 16, 2015,; Mohamed Jamal, “Ta‘leemat le-Nowab al-Barlaman al-Masry be-Tamreer 340 Qanoun qabl 25 Yanayer” [Egyptian Parliament is instructed to pass 340 laws before January 25], Huffington Post,January 17, 2016,

40 Beesan Kassab, “Ba‘d al-Itaha be-Genina…Hal Yalhaq behi Akhroun Men ‘al-Markazy lel-Mohasabat’?” [After Genina’s elimination—will others in the Central Auditing Agency going to follow?], Mada Masr, March 29, 2016,سياسة/بعد-الإطاحة-بـ-جنينة-هل-يلحق-به-آخرون-م/; Beesan Kassab, “Seynaryouhat ‘Mo‘akabt’ Genina bayn Raghabat al-Seeyasa wa ‘Aqabat al-Qanoun” [Scenarios of punishing Genina between political desires and legislative obstacles], Mada Masr,January 15, 2016,سياسة/%E2%80%8Bسيناريوهات-معاقبة-جنينة-بين-رغبات-ا/.

41 ‘Omar Sa‘eed, “Hal Tokhmid al-Dawla “thawrat al-Jame‘aat”…Am tadfa‘ nahwaha?” [Is the state subsiding university protests or pushing students toward them?], Mada Masr, October 2, 2014,سياسة/هل-تُخمد-الدولة-ثورة-الجامعات-أم-تدف/; Haitham Gabr, “Public Transport Workers: Dissidents Across Different Regimes,” Mada Masr,November 18, 2016,

42 Zaki Tawfiq, “Hakadha Sharaha al-Sisi le-‘Askar al-Bortoghal Kayf Yara al-‘Alam (video)” [How Sisi described his world view to the Portuguese military (video)], Arabi21,November 23, 2016,هكذا-شرح-السيسي-لعسكر-البرتغال-كيف-يرى-العالم-فيديو.

43 Watan News, “al-Badawi: Taqreer al-Horeyat al-Amereeky Tadmanna al-Katheer Men al- Akadheeb” [al-Badawi: The State Department’s annual human rights report contains many lies], al-Watan, April 17, 2016,; al-Osbou‘, “Bakry: Bayan al-Barlaman al-Itali Tadman Akadheeb Hawl Hoqouq al-Insan Fey Masr” [Bakry: The Italian Parliament’s statement on human rights in Egypt contains lies], al-Osbou‘,March 11, 2016, http://www.الأسبوع.com/t~248437.

44 Heba ‘Afifi, “O‘toqila Men Manzelohu Thoma ‘Aad Jotha: Qesat Ahad Shabab al-‘Areesh al-Maqtouleen Kama Tarweeha Osratehu” [He was taken from his home and then returned in a body bag: The story of one of the killed young men from al-‘Areesh as told by his family], Mada Masr,January 17, 2017,سياسة/اعتقل-من-منزله-ثم-اختفى-ثم-عاد-جثة-قصة-أ/.

45 Victims of human rights abuses and violations have been mostly Egyptians. In a few cases, such as the killing of a group of Mexican tourists in the Western Sahara and the killing of the Italian doctoral researcher Julio Regini, foreigners fell victim to state-sponsored violence. See, Ashraf ‘Abdel Hameed, “Masr Takshef Molabasat Maqtal al-Soyyah al-Meksekeyeen bel-Khata`” [Egypt reveals circumstances surrounding the wrongful killing of Mexican tourists], al-Arabiya,September 14, 2015,مصر-تكشف-ملابسات-مقتل-السياح-المكسيكيين-بـ-الخطأ-.html; al-Wafd, “‘Regeni’ Jasous Engelizy wa Britanya Wara` Maqtalohu le-Ihdath Fetna Fey Masr” [“Regeni” was an English spy and Britain is behind his murder to stir up tensions in Egypt], al-Wafd, April 11, 2016,أخبار-وتقارير/1123844-«ريجينى»-جاسوس-إنجليزي-وبريطانيا-وراء-مقتله-لإحداث-فتنة-في-مصر.

46 ‘Abdel Lateef al-Turkey, “‘al-Sisi’ wa ‘Askaret al-Dawla’…Men al-Wouzara` Ila al-Mohafazeen wa Ro`sa` al-Modn” [“Al-Sisi” and “the militarization of the state”… From the ministers to the governors and the city mayors], al-Tagreer, September 7, 2016,السيسي-وعسكرة-الدولة-من-الوزراء-إلى/.

47 Beesan Kassab, “Ba‘d Motalabat al-Ra`ees wa al-Hokouma wa al-Barlaman wa al-I‘lam…hal Nahtaj ila Ta‘deel al-Qawaneen wa al-Dostour?” [After the demands of the president, the parliament, and the government….Do we need to amend laws and make changes to the constitution?], Mada Masr,December 13. 2016,سياسة/بعد-مطالبات-الرئيس-والحكومة-والبرلما/; Bassant Rabie‘, “‘al-Dakhlia’ mondh Yanayer 2011: ‘Onf Motakarer wa Fashal Fey al-Islah… wa Tahdeed lel-Nezam” [Ministry of Interior since January 2011: Constant violence and failure to reform….and a threat to the regime], Mada Masr,January 25, 2016,سياسة/الداخلية-منذ-يناير-2011-عنف-متكرر-وفشل-في/.

48 Beesan Kassab, “Lajnat ‘Haq al-Sha‘ab’…bayn Mokafhet al-Fassad wa Ta‘arod al-Masaleh” [Committee on the “rights of the people”…Between fighting corruption and conflicts of interest], Mada Masr,September 7, 2016,سياسة/لجنة-حق-الشعب-بين-مكافحة-الفساد-وتعار/.

49 Rajab Jalal, “‘al-Masry al-Youm’ Tanshor al-Nas al-Kamel le-‘Qanoun al-Tazahor’” [al-Masry al-Youm publishes the full text of the protest law], al-Masry al-Youm, November 24, 2013,; “Law No.107 for 2013: For Organizing the Right to Peaceful Public Meetings, Processions and Protests,” Constitution Net, July 8, 2013,

50 This section on the Protest Law draws from several recent articles by the author: Amr Hamzawy, “Egypt’s Anti Protest Law: Legalising Authoritarianism,” Al-Jazeera, November 24, 2016,; Amr Hamzawy, “Egyptians’ Rights Deemed Illegal,” Mail & Guardian, November 25, 2016, and Nathan Brown and Amr Hamzawy, “An Egyptian Court Just Struck Down Part of a Repressive New Law,” Washington Post, Also see “al-Amn Yafod Mozahrat ‘al-Shoura’ bel-Qowa wal Qabd ‘Ala ‘Adad Men al-Noshata`” [Security services forcefully end Shura Council demonstrations and arrest a number of activists], YouTube video, 3:01, posted by “al-Masry al-Youm,” November 26, 2013,; Rabie‘ Mamdouh, “Qowat al-Amn Tulqi al-Qabd ‘Ala ‘Asharat al-Motazahreen Amam “al-Shoura” Baynahom Rasha Azab” [Security forces arrest dozens of protestors in front of the Shura Council including Rasha ‘Azab], al-Watan,November 26, 2013,; Ahmed ‘Abdo, “‘Aman ‘Ala “Mozaharet al-Shura” wa Awal Tatbeeq le-Qanoun “Man‘ al-Tazahor” Ba‘d Sa‘at Men Tamreero: al-Ghata` al-Shar‘y Le-Habs al-Mo‘aredeen” [Two years since the Shura Council demonstrations and the first application of the protest law hours after it passes into legislation: Legislative cover for imprisoning dissidents], al-Bedaiah, November 27, 2015,; “al-Amn Yafod Mozahara Motajeha lel-Itihadeya wa al-Motazahroun Yatajama‘oun Fey Medan al-Isma’leya” [Security forces clampdown on A protest march in Itihadeya…and protestors gather in Ismailia Square], ONA News Agency,June 21, 2014,; Ahmed Isma‘il, “al-Jonah Taqdey be-Habs Sanaa Seif wa Athneen we ‘Ashreen Akhareen Thalath Sanawat be-Qadeyet Mozaharat al-Itihadeya” [The court sentences Sanaa Seif and 22 others to three years in prison in the Itihadeya case], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, October 26, 2014,الجنح-تقضى-بحبس-سناء-سيف-و22-آخرين-3-سنوات-بقضية/1923110; “al-Qada` al-Masry Yahkom be-Sejn Akthar Men Me’at we Khamseen Shakhs Sharako Fey Mozaharat “Tiran wa Sanafeer”…Sanaa Seif Tosalem Nafsaha” [Egyptian courts sentence more than 150 people who participated in the Tiran and Sanafir protests…Sanaa Seif turns herself in], CNN, May 15, 2016,; “bel-Video…Ihtejajat Ded al-Tanazol ‘an Tiran wa Sanafeer: ‘Aysh…Horreya…al-Jozor dey Masreya” [Video…Demonstrations against the renunciation of Tiran and Sanafir: Bread…Freedom…These islands are Egyptian], CNN, April 15, 2016,

51 Rajab Jalal, “‘al-Masry al-Youm’ Tanshor al-Nas al-Kamel le-‘Qanoun al-Tazahor’” [al-Masry al-Youm publishes the full text of the protest law], al-Masry al-Youm, November 24, 2013,

52 The massive increase in the use of violent dispersal tactics was noticeable as soon as the protest law was issued. In 2014, forty-nine citizens were killed in the demonstrations commemorating the third anniversary of the January Revolution. In 2015, eighteen citizens were killed on the fourth anniversary of the revolution. In February 2015, nineteen citizens were killed in the police dispersal of a gathering of soccer fans. Similar incidents have been occurring repeatedly. See, “Masr…Thamanyet ‘Asharet Qateelan Bedhekra Thawrat 25 Yanayer” [Egypt…18 murdered on the anniversary of the January 25th Revolution], Sky News Arabia, January 26, 2015,مصر-18-قتيلا-بذكرى-ثورة-25-يناير; CNN, “Masr: Tesa‘at wa Arba‘oun Qateelan be-Sadamat “25 Yanayer” wa al-Ikhwan Yad‘oun lel-Tas‘eed al-Ahad” [Egypt: 49 people die in clashes on the anniversary of January 25 Revolution and the Muslim Brotherhood calls for an escalation on Sunday], CNN,January 26, 2014,; “Ahdath Istad al-Defa‘ al-Jawy: Shihadat al-Moshaje‘een Hawl “al-Ro‘b”” [Events that took place in the Air Defence Stadium: Statements of fans on the “horror” that took place], BBC, February 9, 2015,

53 “Supreme Constitutional Court Deems Article 10 of Protest Law Unconstitutional,” Mada Masr, December 3, 2016,

54 Rajab Jalal, “‘al-Masry al-Youm’ Tanshor al-Nas al-Kamel le-‘Qanoun al-Tazahor’” [al-Masry al-Youm publishes the full text of the protest law], al-Masry al-Youm, November 24, 2013,

55 Nour ‘Ali, “al-Nas al-Kamel le-Qanoun al-Jam‘eyat al-Ahleya al-Jadeed Ba‘d Mowafaqat al-Barlaman…Hazr al-Da‘wa le-Ta`yeed aw Tamweel al-Tanzeemat al-Irhabeya…wa Tashkeel “al-Qawmy le-Tanzeem ‘Amal al-Monazamat al-Ajnabeya Gheir al-Hokoumeya” le-Modat Thalath Sanawat Qabila lel-Tajdeed” [The full text of the new law of associations after Parliament’s approval…Bans support or funding of terrorist organizations…Formed “a national organization to regulate the work of NGOs” for the next three years upon renewal], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, November 29, 2016,النص-الكامل-لقانون-الجمعيات-الأهلية-الجديد-بعد-موافقة-البرلمان-حظر/2989287.

56 Khalid Hassan, “Will New Law Restrict Egyptian NGO’s Activities?” Al-Monitor, December 5, 2016,

57 Ahmed Isma‘il, “Masader: Towajoh Re`asy le-‘adam al-Tasdeeq ‘Ala ‘al-Jam‘eyat al-Ahleya’...wa Khobra`: Tasreehat al-Sisi Mobashera” [Sources: Presidential leaning against ratifying the NGO Bill…and experts: Sisi’s statements make us hopeful], Masr al-Arabiya, January 7, 2017,الحياة-السياسية/1339897-خبراء--تصريحات-السيسي-تشير-لأمكنية-عدم-تصديقه-على-القانون-الجمعيات-الاهلية.

58 One of the most repressive tools used by the Egyptian government to silence labor activism is the jurisdiction enshrined in various laws of the military prosecutor and the supreme state security prosecutor over cases in which labor activists and elected union members organize to protest official policies or demand better working conditions and wage increases. See, “Update: Military Trial for Alexandria Shipyard workers adjourned to December 20,” Mada Masr, November 15, 2016,

59 For information on these groups, see Egyptian Center for Economic and Social Rights,; and Center for Trade Union and Workers Services,

60 Mohamed Hamama, “Amwal al-Nadeem wa Qanoun al-Nowab…Tas‘eed Nou‘ie Fey al-Ma‘raka ma‘a al-Mojtama‘ al-Madany” [Al-Nadeem’s funds and the NGO bill in the House of Representatives…A major escalation in the battle against civil society], Mada Masr, November 14, 2016,سياسة/أموال-النديم-وقانون-النواب-تصعيد-نو/; “Taqreer Hoqouqy: al-Nezam al-Haly Yo‘ady Horreyat al-Ta‘beer ka-Khatar Wojoudy Yohaded Shar‘eyatohu” [A human rights report: The current regime is hostile to freedom of expression and believes that freedom of expression threatens its legitimacy], Mada Masr, February 14, 2017,سياسة/تقرير-حقوقي-النظام-الحالي-يعادي-حرية-ا/.

61 al-Nadeem, “‘An al-Nadeem” [About al-Nadeem], Al Nadeem Center for Rehabilitation of Victims of Violence,عن-النديم; “al-Nadeem Fey Radohu ‘Ala Wezarat al-Seha: al-Ighlaq Laysa be-Sabab Mokhalafat al-Tarkhees”[Al-Nadeem responds to the Ministry of Health: The shutdown was not because of the license violation], Mada Masr,February 19, 2016,سياسة/النديم-في-رده-على-وزارة-الصحة-الإغلاق-ل/.

62 The House of Representatives convened in January 2016.

63 “al-Ta‘deelat al-Laty Tara`at ‘Ala Qanoun al-‘Oqoubat ‘Aam 2015” [Amendments introduced to the Penal Code in 2015], East Laws Academy, September 28, 2015,

64 Ibid.

65 Hamzawy, “Egypt’s Anti Protest Law.”

66 Ibrahim ‘Ayad, “Nanshor Nas Qanoun al-Keyanat al-Irhabeya al-Aadhy Asdarohu al-Sisi… wa Yabda` al-Tanfeedh Ghadan” [Full Text of the Law of Terrorist Entities that Sisi issued…The Execution of the Law Begins Tomorrow], Masrawy, February 24, 2015,ننشر-نص-قانون-الكيانات-الإرهابية-الذي-أصدره-السيسي-ويبدأ-التنفيذ-غدا-.

67 Arabi 21, “Hadhehee Heya Qa`emet ‘al-Irhab’ al-Masreya Kamela (Asmae’ 1536)” [This is the full list of Egyptian “terrorists” (1,536 names)], Arabi 21, January 19, 2017,هذه-هي-قائمة-الإرهاب-المصرية-كاملة-1536-اسما; “Egypt: Court Names 1,500 to Terrorist List,” Human Rights Watch,January 24, 2017,

68 al-Masdar, “‘al-Jareeda al-Rasmeya’ Qarar Ra`ees al-Jumhoureya be-Sha`n Ta`meen wa Hemayet al-Monsha’at al-‘Aama wa al-Hayweya” [“Official newspaper” the president’s decision on the protection of public and vital facilities], al-Masdar, October 28, 2014,

69 “Qanoun Jadeed…wa Mouja Jadeeda Men Dahaya al-Mohakamat al-‘Askareya lel-Madaneyeen” [A new law…and a new wave of civilian victims of military trials], No to Military Trials for Civilians (blog), November 3, 2014,; ‘Abdel Jawad Ibrahim, “al-Nas al-Kamel le-Qanoun Ta`meen wa Hemayet al-Monsha’at al-‘Aama wa al-Hayweya Raqam 136 le-Sanat 2014” [Full text of the Law on Ensuring the Protection of Public and Vital Facilities No. 136 of 2014], Barlmany, October 14, 2015,النص-الكامل-لقانون-تأمين-وحماية-المنشآت-العامة-والحيوية-رقم-136; Mohamed Basal et al., “Qanoun Jadeed Yade‘ al-Monsha’at al-‘Aama wa al-Hayweya Taht Hemayet al-Qowat al-Mosalaha” [A new law that puts the protection of public and vital facilities under the control of the armed forces], Shorouk News, October 28, 2014,

70 “Egypt: 7,400 Civilians Tried in Military Courts,” Human Rights Watch, April 13, 2016,

71 “Khamsat ‘Asharat Monazama Hoqouqeya Tantaqed Tawsee‘ Ikhtesasat al-Qada` al-‘Askary” [15 human rights organizations criticize the expansion of the jurisdiction of the military courts], press release, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, October 30, 2014,

72 “Mada 156” [Article 156], Dostour, And Article 156 states the following: “If an event happened, not during a session in the House of Representatives, and it necessitates urgent measures that could not be delayed, the President calls for the convening of an emergency session to consider the event/matter. And if the House of Representatives does not exist yet, the President is allowed to issue presidential-decree laws, on condition that they are discussed within 15 days from the convening of the new council, and in case they were not represented or discussed, or in case they have but not have been approved by the council, its legal effects are removed retrospectively, with no need to issue a decree which states that, unless the council approves their validity for the preceding period, or settles its implications.”

73 Mohamed ‘Abdel Mageed, “Qesat Qanoun al-Khedma al-Madaniya Mondh Isdarohu wa Hatta al-Youm… O‘lina be-2015 wa Rafadahu al-Barlaman 2016” [The story of the civil service law since its issuance unit today—announced in 2015 and rejected by Parliament in 2016], Barlmany, April 14, 2016,قصة-قانون-الخدمة-المدنية-منذ-إصداره-وحتى-اليوم-أعلن-بـ.

74 Nour Ali, “Jorooh al-Barlaman al-Maftooha…Fad Dor al-In’eqad Don Iqrar al-Khedma al-Madaneya wa Hasm Azmet al-Shobky” [The open wounds of Parliament…Session ends without a decision on the civil service or the Shubaki crisis], Parlmany, September 6, 2016,جروح-البرلمان-المفتوحة-فض-دور-الانعقاد-دون-إقرار-الخدمة-المدنية/.

75 Hossam Bahgat, “Anatomy of an Election,” Mada Masr, March 14, 2016,

76 According to the Constitution of 2014, the House of Representatives was given the task of discussing and approving or rejecting the presidential-decree laws stipulated by the interim president or current president with an interim legislative competence. Although the constitutional text has set a deadline of fifteen days for the completion of this task, the House of Representatives could have succeeded to prolong the period of time by beginning the discussion of all the decrees before the period ends and then employ its usual regulatory tools to continue with the discussion.

77 Rania Rabie‘, “‘’Abdel ‘Aal’: Yonhy Dour al-In‘iqad be-Khashef Hessab lel-Nowab” [Speaker of parliament ends the session and reveals account of the House], Shorouk News, September 6, 2016,

787 Matthew Reiter, “Egypt’s Guantanamo: Scorpion Prison,” Human Rights Brief, November 8, 2016,​.

79 Eleven prisons have been built since the 2013 coup, according to local and regional sources. al-Jazeera, “Bona` al-Sejn al-Hady ‘Ashar be-Masr Fey thalathat Sanawat” [The eleventh prison built in the last three years is complete], al-Jazeera, بناء-السجن-الـ11-بمصر-في-3-سنوات .

80 “Egypt: ‘Officially, You Do Not Exist’—Disappeared and Tortured in the Name of Counter-Terrorism,” Amnesty International, July 13, 2016,

81 “All According to Plan: The Rab‘a Massacre and Mass Killings of Protesters in Egypt,” Human Rights Watch, August 12, 2014,

82 Brian Rohan, “Egypt Rights Group Says 754 Extrajudicial Killings in 2016,” Associated Press, June 8, 2016,

83 al-Masreyoun, “Taqreer Hoqouqy: 1344 Halet Ta‘dheeb Fey al-Sejoun” [A human rights report: 1,344 incidents of torture in prison], al-Masreyoun, August 4, 2016,دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/910433-1344-حالة-تعذيب-في-السجون.

84 “Egypt: Serious Abuses in Scorpion Prison,” Human Rights Watch, September 28, 2016,

85 On the evening of July 3, 2013, the police arrested Mohamed Sa‘ad al-Katatny, the speaker of the 2012 parliament and chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, and Rashad Bayoumy, deputy general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood. Both were charged with the murder of demonstrators in the midst of the popular protests that spread throughout Egypt in the summer of 2013. On July 5, Khayrat al-Shater, also deputy general guide of the movement, was arrested and charged with the same accusations. On July 29, the police arrested Abou al-‘Oula Mady, the chairman of the Wasat Party, and his vice-chairman, ‘Essam Soltan. They were charged with inciting the killing of protesters and insulting the judiciary. In the wake of the brutal dispersal of the Muslim Brotherhood’s sit-ins in Nahda and Rab‘a on August 14, 2013, there were successive arrests of first-tier leaders. Mohamed Badie‘, general guide of the movement, was arrested on August 20, 2013. Mohamed al-Beltajy, secretary general of the Freedom and Justice Party, followed on the 29 of the same month. Badie‘ and al-Beltajy were charged with inciting violence and killing during the sit-ins as well as conspiring with foreign countries. On October 30, 2013, the security forces arrested the vice-chairman of the Freedom and Justice Party, ‘Essam al-‘Eryan and charged him the same set of accusation. By the fall of 2013, most Islamist leaders were imprisoned. Those leaders who were not imprisoned had to flee Egypt to avoid being arrested. They include Mahmoud ‘Izzat—currently the acting general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood, Mahmoud Hussein—secretary general of the movement, Mohamed Mahsoub of the Wasat Party—minister of parliamentary affairs under Morsi, and the chairman of the Islamist Construction and Development Party, Tarek al-Zomor. See, Yosry Badry, “Masdar amny: al-Qabd ‘Ala Sa‘ad al-Katatny wa Rashad Bayoumy” [Security source: Sa‘ad al-Katatny and Rashad Bayoumy have been arrested], al-Masry al-Youm, July 4, 2013,; Samy ‘Abdel Rady and Mahmoud al-Jarhy, “al-Neyaba Towajeh ‘al-Katatny wa Bayoumy’ be-Tohmet Qatl 22 wa al-Shorou‘ Fey Qatl 211 Fey ‘Majzarat Bayn al-Sarayat’”[Prosecutors accuse al-Katatny and Bayoumy for the murder of 22 individuals and the attempted murder of 211 in the massacre of Bayn al-Sarayat], al-Watan, July 6, 2013,; “al-Qabd ‘Ala Khayrat al-Shater al-Rajel al-Qawy Fey Jama‘at al-Ikhwan” [The arrest of Khayrat al-Shater the strong man in the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, July 5, 2013,; al-Walid Isma‘il, “‘al-Watan’ Tanfared be-Nashr Nas al-Tahqeeqat ma‘a Khayrat al-Shater Fey Qadeyet ‘Majzarat al-Irshad’” [al-Watan publishes the official text of the Interrogation of Khayrat al-Shater in the Irshad Massacre], al-Watan, August 18, 2013,; “al-Qabd ‘Ala ‘Essam Soltan wa Abou al-‘Oula Mady wa Tarhelahoma le-Tora” [The arrest of ‘Essam Soltan and Abou al-‘Oula Mady and sent to Tora Prison], al-Arabiya, July 29, 2013,القبض-على-عصام-سلطان-وأبو-العلا-ماضي-وترحيلمها-لطره.html; “al-Azma Fey Masr: al-Qabd ‘Ala Mohamed Badei‘ al-Morshed al-‘Aam lel-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen” [Crisis in Egypt: The arrest of Mohamed Badei‘, the general guide of the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, August 20, 2013,; “I‘teqal Mohamed al-Beltajy al-Qeeyady Fey al-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen” [The Arrest of Mohamed al-Beltajy Leading member of the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, August 29, 2013,; Mohamed Sharqawy, “Masder Qada`ie Yakshef La`ehet al-Itahamat al-Mowajaha lel-Beltajy…al-Neyaba Tatahemohu bel-Tahreed bel-`Amr al-Mubasher ‘Ala A‘amal ‘Onf Fey Ahdath ‘Rab‘a al-‘Adaweya’ wa ‘al-Nahda’ wa ‘al-Haras al-Jumhoury’…wa al-Takhabor le-Saleh Jehat Ajnabeya” [A judicial source reveals the list of accusations directed at al-Beltajy, inciting violence in Rab‘a, Nahda, and the Republican Guard Incidents], Al-Youm Al-Sabe’, August 29, 2013,مصدر-قضائى-يكشف-لائحة-الاتهامات-الموجهة-للبلتاجى-النيابة-تتهمه-بالتحريض/1226351; “Ilqa` al-Qabd ‘Ala al-Qeeyady al-Ikhwany ‘Essam al-‘Eryan bel-Qahera” [The arrest of Muslim Brotherhood leader ‘Essam al-‘Eryan], Al-Arabiya, October 30, 2013,إلقاء-القبض-على-القيادي-في-الإخوان-عصام-العريان.html; al-Maseryoun “Ayna Ikhtafa Mahmoud ‘Ezzat?” [Where did Mahmoud ‘Ezzat disappear?], Al-Mesryoon, February 4, 2014,دفتر-أحوال-الوطن/814677-أين-اختفى-محمود-عزت-؟; ‘Adel ‘Abdel Rahman, “Mahmoud Hussein al-Ameen al-‘Aam lel-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen… le-Madha Istahadafohu be-Hadhahy al-Sharasa” [Mahmoud Huseein the secretary general of the Muslim Brotherhood…Why did they pursue him with such vengeance?], Klmty, June 9, 2015,محمود_حسين_الأمين_العام_للإخوان_المسلمين___لماذا_استهدافه_بهذه_الشراسة_؟_.html; Mostafa al-Maghreby, “Mohamed Mahsoub Yakshef Tafaseel ‘Ard al-Sisi lel-Ikhwan Qabl Bayan 3 Youlyou” [Mohamed Mahsoub reveals the details of the deal Sisi gave the Muslim Brotherhood prior to the July 3 statement], Masr Al-Arabia, July 2, 2016,سوشيال-ميديا/1136121-محمد-محسوب-يكشف-تفاصيل-عرض-السيسي-للإخوان-قبل-بيان-3-يوليو; Magdy ‘Abdel Rasoul, “Masder le-Veto: Horoub Tarek al-Zomor wa ‘Essem ‘Abdel Majed be-Mo‘awanet Ajheza Seeyadeya… al-Amn Sa‘edohoma Fey al-Khorouj Men Masr Tajanoban lel-Sedam ma‘a al-Jama‘at al-Islameya…al-Qeeyadeyan bel-Jama‘a al-Islameya Harba Taht She‘ar al-Hejra al-Mou`qata” [Source to Veto: The escape of Tarek al-Zomor and ‘Essem ‘Abdel Majed in cooperation with high-ranked leaders…Security officials helped them to leave Egypt to avoid clashing with Islamist groups…The leaders escaped under the guise of “temporary immigration”], Veto Gate, December 2, 2013,

86 For example, several leaders of small political parties allied with the Muslim Brotherhood were arrested. Majdy Hussein—chairman of the Independence Party, Nasr ‘Abdel Salam and Safwat ‘Abdel Ghani of the Construction and Development Party, and Hossam Khalaf of the Wasat Party were all arrested on July 1, 2014. See, Ossama al-Mahdy and Sa‘eed ‘Ali, “Laylat al-Qabd ‘Ala Qeeyadat Tahalof al-Ma‘zoul” [The night of arresting the leaders of the pro-Morsi alliance], al-Masry al-Youm, July 1, 2014,; Mohamed Ismail and Ahmed Arafa, “ “Al-Horreya wal-‘Adala” Yasdor Bayanan Yadeen al-Qabd ‘Ala Majdy Hussein wa Nasr Abdel Salam” [The Freedom and Justice Party releases a statement condemning the arrest of Majdy Hussein and Nasr Abdel Salam], Al-Youm Al-Sabe’,July 1, 2014,الحرية-والعدالة-يصدر-بيانًا-يدين-القبض-على-مجدى-حسين-ونصر/1754767; “Maqtal Dobatein fey Infijarein be-Moheet Qasr al-Itahadeya bel-Qahera” [The murder of two police officers in explosions around the Federal Palace in Cairo], BBC, June 30, 2014,

87 Sayed Radwan, “Fey Thalathat Sanawat…al-Marad wa al-Rosas Yoqtolan 30 Qeyadey wa Kader lel-Ikhwan al-Moslimeen” [In three years…disease and bullets kill 30 leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood], Rassd, October 5, 2016,

88 On July 8, 2013, military and police units used excessive force to end the protest of the Muslim Brothers in front of the Cairo headquarters of the Republican Guard. Sixty-one civilians were killed and 435 were injured, according to an official statement from the Governmental Forensic Medicine Department. On July 27, 2013, security units dressed in civilian clothes fired on Brotherhood’s demonstrators in a Cairo neighborhood. The renewed use of excessive force resulted in the killing of ninety-five civilians, according to the Governmental Forensic Medical Department. See, “All According to Plan,” Human Rights Watch.

89 Ibid. After two days of the violent dispersal of the sit-ins, a number of Muslim Brotherhood’s members and supporters marched in a Cairo neighborhood to protest the mass killings. Police units once again opened fire on the protestors claiming that they were violent and committed acts of aggression. The claim of the police was never verified independently. According the Governmental Forensic Medicine Department, the renewed use of excessive force resulted in the killing of 120 civilians. See, “All According to Plan,” Human Rights Watch.

90 Mohamed Hamama, “Lajnet al-Tahafoz ‘Ala Amwal al-Ikhwan Fey Mowajhet al- Qada`” [Commission on Freezing and Managing the Assets of the Muslim Brotherhood confronting the judiciary], Mada Masr, November 24, 2016,سياسة/لجنة-التحفظ-على-أموال-الإخوان-في-مواجه/.

91 Mohamed al-‘Alem, “Ba‘d ‘Aam Men Ta`seesaha…Lajnet “Hasr wa Idarat Amwal al-Ikhwan” Tosayter ‘Ala 80% Men al-Amwal…wa Tatahafaz ‘Ala 1033 Jam‘eya wa 544 Sherka…Tahafozateha Tat‘ada Nesf Millyar Jeneih…wa Tokhateb Sitat Dowal le- Tajmeed Amwal Qeyadat al-Jama‘a” [After a year of its founding…the Commission on Freezing and Managing the Assets of the Muslim Brotherhood controls 90% of the money…freezes over 1,033 charities and 544 companies…controls half a billion pounds…Talking to six countries to freeze the assets of members of the Muslim Brotherhood], al-Youm Al-Sabe‘, October 29, 2014,بعد-عام-من-تأسيسها-لجنة-حصر-وإدارة-أموال-الإخوان-تسيطر/1927129.

92 “Lajnet Hasr Amwal al-Ikhwan” [The Commission on Freezing and Managing the Assets of the Muslim Brotherhood], Al-Masry Al-Youm, Also, media corporations affiliated with or loyal to the Muslim Brotherhood were ordered closed by the government. Judicial provisions safeguarding media freedoms were ignored completely. See, “Ighilaq al-Qanawat al-Deeneya: Intehak le-Horeyet al-Ra`y am Daroura Amneya?” [Shutting down of religious channels: A breach of civil liberties or a necessary security measure?], BBC, July 9, 2013,

93 Magdy Khalil, “Madha Ya‘ni I‘lan Jama‘at al-Ikhwan Jama‘a Irahbeya?” [What does declaring the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist group mean?], Middle East Online, December 28, 2013, As of early 2017, the administrative court system is still considering appeals to the declaration of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization. See, Mohamed al-‘Omda, “al-Qada` al-Idary You’ajel Da‘wa Botalan Qarar Hal Jama‘at al-Ikhwan Ila 26 Younyou” [Administrative court postpones appeal on the decision to dissolve the Muslim Brotherhood to June 26], al-Watan, April 17, 2016,

94 Mohamed al-‘Omda, “Haytheyat Hal ‘al-Horreya wal-‘Adala’: al-Ikhwan Asha‘ou al-‘Onf wal-Fawda…wal-Hezb Onshe’a be-Takleef Men ‘al-Tanzeem al-Dawly’” [Merits of dissolving the Freedom and Justice Party: The Brotherhood incited violence and chaos…The party was established by an the “international organization” of the Brotherhood], al-Watan, August 10, 2014,

95 “‘An Tamout Beselah al-Nesyan Fey al-Sejoun’…Resala Men Motahmeen Fey Qadeyeit Fad Rab‘a [“To die by the weapon of oblivion in prison”…A letter from the cccused in the Rab‘a Massacre], Mada Masr, May 9, 2016,سياسة/أن-تموت-بسلاح-النسيان-في-السجون-رسالة/.

96 “Erdogan: Turkeya Satoraheb be-Qeyadat al-Ikhwan” [Erdogan: Turkey will welcome the leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood], BBC, September 16, 2014,; Emil Amin, “al-Shetat al-Ikhwany Men London Ila Graz” [The Muslim Brotherhood diaspora from London to Graz], al-Bayan, April 21, 2014,; “The Brotherhood Diaspora,” Mada Masr, September 30, 2014,

97 Ahmed Sameer, “Khetab al-Karaheya: Hal To‘eed Masr Tajrobet Rwanda?” [Hate speech: Is Egypt repeating the Rwanda experience?], Ida2at, February 14, 2016,

98 Mohamed Shuman, “Kashaf Mokhatat al-Ikhwan al-Hadama al-Hadefa le-Darb al-Iqtesad” [Uncovering Brotherhood schemes to destroy the Egyptian economy], al-Ahram,حوادث/كشف-مخططات-الإخوان-الهدامة-الهادفة-لضرب-الاقتصاد.aspx; Mahmoud ‘Abdel Rady, “al-Dakhleya Tohbet Akbar Mou`amra le-Darb al-Iqtesad…al-Tanzeem al-Irhaby Yatalaqa Takleefat Qatreya wa Turkeya lel-Modaraba ‘Ala al-Dollar wa Sahb al-Banzeen Men al-Mahatat wa Khalq Azmat Korout al-Shahn…wa Saba‘et ‘Ashar ‘Onsor Ya‘tarefoun Amam al-Amn al-Watany” [The Interior Ministry cracks down on the Brotherhood’s biggest conspiracy to target the economy…The terrorist organization receives orders from Qatar and Turkey to speculate on the Dollar and to cause the Petrol shortage and the crisis of the scratch cards…and 17 members of the Brotherhood confess to the national security], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, September 24, 2016,الداخلية-تحبط-أكبر-مؤامرة-لـ-الإخوان-لضرب-الاقتصاد-التنظيم-الإرهابى/2894955.

99 Mohamed ‘Abdel Haleem, “Itlaqeha Men Turkeya…Khetat al-Ikhwan al-Irahebya le-Darb al-Iqtesad al-Masry” [Launched from Turkey…The Brotherhood’s terrorist plan to target the Egyptian economy], Dot Masr, August 28, 2016,أطلقتها-من-تركيا-خطة-الإخوان-الإرهابية-لضرب-الاقتصاد-المصري.

100 Literary production has also contributed to depicting the Muslim Brotherhood as the archetypal other. Clearest incarnations in this regard are the poem turned popular song “We Are a People and They Are a People” by Medhat al-‘Adl and the poem “What is Their True Religion” by Gamal Bakheet. “‘Ali al-Hajar Fey Oghneyet Ehna Sha‘ab Wento Sha‘ab” [‘Ali al-Hajar’s song “We Are a People, and They Are a People”], YouTube video, posted by “Mac Sharkawy,” July 6, 2013,; “ Gamal Bakheet-Qaseedet ‘ Deen Abouhom Esmo Eih?’” [ What is their true religion ], YouTube video, 8:58, posted by “afaheem10,” May 25, 2011,

101 Khaled Ahmed, “Taqreer Sery lel-Amn al-Watany Yakshef Mo`amra al-Ikhwan le-Isqat Masr Khelal 6 Ashhor…al-Mokhatet Yashmel Darb al-Iqtesad wa Tahdeed al-Sefarat al-Ajnabeya…Tansheet Milisheyat al-Shater le-Tasfeyet al-Mo’aredeen…Tareweej al-Sha`a’at wa Naql al-Irhab lel-Dakhel” [Confidential report from the National Security Council reveals the Brotherhood’s conspiracy to destroy Egypt within 6 months…The plan includes targeting the economy and threatening foreign embassies…Mobilizing al-Shater’s militia groups to destroy opponents…Starting rumors and transporting terrorists to Egypt], Al-Bawaba, December 8, 2014,

102 ‘Abdel Fattah ‘Abdel Moneim, “al-Ikhwan Tatala‘ab fey “Dollarat” al-Masryeen” [The Muslim Brotherhood is messing with the dollars of Egyptians], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, May 16, 2016,أخبار-عاجلة/65/1.

103 Bahy Hussein, “I‘terafat Khaleyat “Sad al-Bala‘at wal Masaref” fel Iskandereya (video)”[Confessions of the Muslim Brothers responsible for clogging the septic tanks in Alexandria (video)], al-Masry al-Youm, July 11, 2015,; Mohamed Isma‘il and Kamel Kamel, “al-Ikhwan Taqre‘u Toboul al-‘Osyan al-Madany…Qeeyady Ikhwany Yohared ‘Ala al-Imtena‘ ‘Aan Dafe‘ Fawateer al-Kaharaba`…wa Ahad Shoyoukh al-Jama‘a Yasef al-‘Osyan bel-Fareeda al-Shar‘eya…wa Mostafa Bakry: Da‘watohom Tokhris Alsenat al-Motalebeen bel-Mosalaha” [Brotherhood is beating the drums of civil disobedience…Leaders of the Brotherhood are calling for people to stop paying their electricity bills…One of their sheikhs is legitimizing disobedience…Mostafa Bakry: Their calls are silencing those who seek reconciliation], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, August 21, 2016,الإخوان-تقرع-طبول-العصيان-المدنى-قيادى-إخوانى-يحرض-على-الامتناع/2851885; and “‘Abdel Raheem ‘Ali Yakshef al-Tabour al-Khames Fey al-Sandouq al-Aswad faqat wa Hasreyan ‘Ala #al-Qahera_wal-Nas” [‘Abdel Raheem ‘Ali uncovers the fifth column on “the black box,” exclusively on al-Qahera wal-Nas], YouTube video, 12:37, posted by “Al-Qahera wal-Nas,” December 5, 2013,

104 Amal Mahdy, “al-Ikhwan…al-Irhab wa Tasaqot al-Aqne‘a al-Za`efa” [The Brotherhood…Terrorism and the falling of the deceptive masks], al-Bawaba, January 3, 2014,

105 al-Sayed Yassin, “Intesar al-Thawra wa al-Soqout al-Tareekhy lel-Jama‘a al-Irhabeya” [The triumph of the revolution and the historic fall of the terrorist group], al-Ahram,; Jalal Dewedar, “Wa Intasart Thawrat 30 Younyou ‘Ala Mou`amarat Isqat Masr” [The June 30 Revolution triumphs over the conspiracy to topple Egypt], Akhbar al-Youm, July 2, 2016,

106 ‘Adel al-Sanhoury, “al-Ikhwan Fey Qa‘ Be`r al-Kheyana’” [The Brotherhood at the bottom of the “treason well”], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, August 12, 2013,الإخوان-فى-قاع-«بئر-الخيانة»/1199973; Mahmoud Muslim, “‘Masr Bela Ikhwan”…al-Mashrou‘ al-Gha’eb” [“Egypt without the Brotherhood”…the missing project], al-Watan, June 28, 2016,

107 Mohamed al-Sayed, “Barlamaneyoun wa Hoqouqeyoun Yantafedoun Ded Taqreer ‘al-‘Afou al-Dawleya’ Hawl al-Auwda‘ al-Seyaseya be-Masr…Amna Noseer: La Yoreedoun al-Najah le-Masr…wa Bakry: Tasfeyat Hesabat Seyaseya…Dalia Zeyada: Ba‘d al-‘Aamleen bel-Monzama Ikhwan wa Yajeb Tajahol al-Taqreer” [Parliamentarians and human rights activists rising up against the “Amnesty International” report on the political situation in Egypt…Amna Noseer: They do not want to see Egypt succeed…Bakry: Settling political accounts…Dalia Zeyada: These are agents of the Brotherhood and we should ignore the report], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, May 26, 2016,برلمانيون-وحقوقيون-ينتفضون-ضد-تقرير-العفو-الدولية-حول-الأوضاع-السياسية/2734195.

108 Hany al-Wazeery et al., “Khetat “Isqat al-Dawla”: al-Ikhwan wa Mokhabarat Turkeya wa Qatar Yabda`oun al-Mou`amra Ded Masr 19 November” [The plan to “topple the state”: The Brotherhood, Turkish intelligence, and Qatari Intelligence start their plot against Egypt on November 19], al-Watan, November 12, 2013,

109 Omnia al-Moujy, “al-Monazamat al-Mashbouha wa Amereeka Iyd Waheda Fey al-Ta’amor ‘Ala Masr…Masader: ‘Jam‘eyat al-Tamweel’ Talebat be-Qata‘ al-Ma‘ounat ‘Aan al-Belad…wa da‘et al-Itihad al-Ourouby Iel-Tadkhol le-Hefz Qadeyetohoum…wa Washington Tathada al-Qahera wa tat‘ahad be-Tamweeleha” [Infamous organizations and America stand hand-in-hand in a conspiracy against Egypt…Sources: “NGOs funded externally demand the West to cut aid to Egypt…and call on the EU to intervene with the Egyptian government to freeze the case against them…and Washington defies Cairo and commits to funding these NGOs], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, March 19, 2016,المنظمات-المشبوهة-وأمريكا-إيد-واحدة-فى-التآمر-على-مصر-مصادر/2636347.

110 Mohamed Sha‘lan, “Tadawel Video Yakshef Mosharekat Monazamat al-Mojtama‘ al-Madany Fey Mou`amarat Isqat Masr” [The circulation of a video that uncovers civil society’s involvement in a conspiracy to topple Egypt], al-Youm al-Sabe‘, October 16, 2016,تداول-فيديو-يكشف-مشاركة-منظمات-المجتمع-المدنى-فى-مؤامرة-إسقاط/2924189; Rasha Imam, “Ba‘d Itahamat Human Rights Watch… ‘Ajeena’: al-Monazamat Tadfa‘u Millyarat le-Tashweeh Som‘at Masr” [After accusations from Human Rights Watch… “MP ‘Ajeena”: Organizations are spending billions to ruin Egypt’s reputation], Barlmany, September 29, 2016,بعد-اتهامات-هيومان-رايتس-ووتش-عجينة-المنظمات-تدفع-مليارات-لتشوية.

111 Ahmed Moussa: Tarekheyan al-Tabour al-Khames Wazeefatohu Tarweej al-Sha`e‘at wa Itharat al-Ro‘b wa Bath She‘arat Mo‘adeya” [Ahmed Moussa: Historically the fifth column’s Job is to disseminate rumors, incite horror, and broadcast hostile slogans], YouTube video, 4:38, posted by “Sada Elbalad,” September 1, 2014,

112 Tarek al-Khouly, “al-Tabour al-Khames lel-Ikhwan” [The fifth column of the Brotherhood], al-Masry al-Youm, August 31, 2013,

113 “#Malafat #Suzan_Sharara al-Tabour al-Khames…wa Mokhatatat Hadm al-Dawla al-Masreya—4 Ibreel 2015” [#Files #Suzan_Sharara fifth column…Schemes to demolish the Egyptian State—April 4, 2015], YouTube video, 1:26:21, posted by “Qanat al-Fara‘een,” April 6, 2015,; and Israa Jamal, Ayatuallah Mohamed, wa Sarah Hossam al-Deen, “‘al-Tabour al-Khames’ Sena‘a Ikhwaneya le-Tafkeek al-Mo‘arada” [“The fifth column”: A Brotherhood creation to divide the opposition], al-Wafd, September 9, 2013,أخبار-وتقارير/538234-الطابور-الخامس-صناعة-إخوانية-لتفكيك-المعارضة.

114 Wessam Fouad, “Qowat al-Amn Taqtahem Maqar Mou’assaset Mada wa Ta‘taqel Hesham Ja‘far Ra’eesaha” [Security forces storm Mada Foundation for Media Development and arrest the president, Hesham Ja‘far], Masr al-Arabiya, October 21, 2015,اخبار-مصر/768777-قوات-الأمن-تقتحم-مقر-مؤسسة-مدى-وتعتقل-رئيسها.

115 Mostafa al-Magharaby, “Tafaseel Ihtejaz Hesham Ja‘far Mendhu Ilqa` al-Qabd ‘aleiyhi” [Details on the detention of Hesham Ja‘far since his arrest], Masr al-Arabiya, October 25, 2015,سوشيال-ميديا/771849-تفاصيل-احتجاز-هشام-جعفر-منذ-إلقاء-القبض-عليه.

116 Mostafa al-Magharaby, “Tajdeed Habs Hesham Ja‘far 45 Yawman ‘Ala Dhemet al-Tahqeeqat” [Hesham Ja‘far’s detention is renewed for 45 days pending interrogations], Masr al-Arabiya, August 24, 2016,سوشيال-ميديا/771849-تفاصيل-احتجاز-هشام-جعفر-منذ-إلقاء-القبض-عليه.

117 Hoda Rashwan and Mahmoud Hassouna, “Lel-Mara al-Khamesa…Isted‘aa Nejad al-Bora‘ei lel-Tahqeeq be-Sabab Qanoun ‘Mokafahet al-Ta‘dheeb’” [For the fifth time… Nejad al-Bora‘ei is summoned for interrogations regarding the law “against torture”], al-Watan, May 16, 2016,

118 The reference is to the law firm United Group, which Borai runs and employs several lawyers and legal advisors.

119 Pesha Magid, “Q&A With Lawyer Negad al-Borei on the Case Against Him and Anti-Torture Draft Law,” Mada Masr, May 17, 2016,

1120 Egyptian Coordination for Rights and Freedoms, Ahmed Abdallah is also legal advisor to the family of deceased Italian doctoral student Julio Regini.

121 “Tajdeed Habs al-Mostashar al-Qanouny le-Osret ‘Rejeni’” [Extension of the detention of the legal advisor to the Regeni family], Masr al-Arabiya, September 5, 2016,اخبار-مصر/1241970-تجديد-حبس-المستشار-القانوني-لأسرة-ريجيني.

122 Aswat Masriya, “Moham: al-Ifraj ‘An Malek ‘Adly” [Lawyer: Malek ‘Adly is released], Aswat Masriya, August 28, 2016,; Aswat Masriya, “al-Ifraj ‘An Haitham Mohamadeen al-Qeyady be-Harakat ‘al-Ishtrakeyeen al-Thawereen’ Doun Kafala” [Haitham Mohamadeen of the Revolutionary Socialists released without bail], Aswat Masriya, September 7, 2013,; and “Rafd Iste`naf al-Nashet al-Seeyasy Haitham Mohamadeen ‘Ala Qarar Tajdeed Habsohu” [Political activist Haitham Mohamadeen’s appeal on renewal of detention was denied], Aswat Masriya, September 3, 2016,

123 al-Sharif Nassef, “Civil Society Law One More Link on Chain to Shackle Dissent in Egypt,” Mada Masr, August 15, 2014,; Nadia Abou al-‘Eineen, “Monazamat al-Mojtama‘ al-Madany Ba‘d 30 Younyou…‘Hesar Mostamer’”[Civil society organizations after June 30… Constant siege], Masr al-Arabiya, June 15, 2015,الحياة-السياسية/627753-منظمات-المجتمع-المدنى-بعد-30-يونيو-حصار-مستمر; “Case to Determine Whether to Freeze Assets of Hossam Bahgat, Gamal Eid Adjourned to May 23,” Mada Masr, April 20, 2016,; “Feminist Human Rights Activist Mozn Hassan Banned From Travel,” Ahram Online,June 27, 2016,; “Background on Case No. 173- the “Foreign Funding Case” Imminent Risk of Prosecution and Closure,” press release, Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights, March 21, 2016,

124 Ibid.

125 Ibid.

126 Ibid.

127 Ibid.

128 “Nanshor Haytheyat Hokm al-Qada` al-Idary be-Ahaqeyet al-Jam‘eyat al-Ahleya Fey Taleqi Menah wa Tamweel Kharejy” [We publish the merits of the court ruling on NGO’s rights to receiving external grants and funding], al-Sha‘ab, September 10, 2016,ننشر-حيثيات-حكم-القضاء-الإدارى-بأحقية-الجمعيات-الأهلية-فى-تلقى-منح-وتمويل-خارجى.

129 Sara Sa‘eed, “Asmaa` al-Jam‘eyat al-Ahleya al-Monhala be-Qarar Men ‘al-Tadamon’”[Names of the NGOs that were dissolved under the decision of the Ministry of Solidarity], Dot Masr, February 24, 2015,ننشر-أسماء-الجمعيات-الأهلية-المنحلة-بقرار-من-غادة-والي.

130 Ahmed ‘Ali, “Narsod Qararat Lajnet Idaret Amwal al-Ikhwan…al-Tahafoz ‘Ala Amwal 737 Qeyada bel-Dakhel wa al-Kharej” [We publish the decision of the Commission on Freezing and Managing the Assets of the Muslim Brotherhood …Freezing the assets of 737 Brotherhood leaders at home and abroad], al-Bawaba, June 21, 2014,; “Al-Tahafoz ‘Ala ‘Adad Men al-Mostashefayat wa al-Marakez al-Tebeya le-A‘da` be-Jama‘at al-Ikhwan” [Government takes control of several hospitals and medical centers that are owned by members of the Brotherhood], Aswat Masriya, June 23, 2016,

131 Amira Gad, “Safwan Thabet…Malek al-Alban wa Naseeb al-Ikhwan” [Safwan Thabet…The king of dairy, and the in-law of the Brotherhood], al-Tahrir, August 14, 2015,صفوان+ثابت+جهينة++الإخوان++أخبار+الاقتصاد+; “Borset Masr Tuwqef Tadawel Sahm Sharket ‘Safwan Thabet’” [Egyptian stock market stopped trading Safwan Thabet’s company shares], al-Araby, January 18, 2017,بورصة-مصر-توقف-تداول-سهم-شركة-صفوان-ثابت-; Mohamed Hassan Sha‘aban, “al-Soltat al-Amneya Fey Masr Tolqi al-Qabd ‘Ala Rajol al-A‘mal Salah Diab wa Najlohu” [Security forces in Egypt arrest businessman Salah Diab and his son], al-Sharq Al-Awsat, November 9, 2015,السلطات-الأمنية-في-مصر-تلقي-القبض-على-رجل-الأعمال-صلاح-دياب-ونجله; “Egypt: Journalist Unlawfully Arrested,” Human Rights Watch, December 1, 2015,

132 “Jenayat al-Mansoura Taqdy bel-Sejn Saba‘at Sanawat le-Tolab be-Azhar Tafahna’” [Criminal court in Mansoura sentences students of “Azhar Tafahna” to 7 years in prison], Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, January 2015,; “Rafd al-Isti`naf ‘Ala Amr Habs Thalathat Tolab be-Jame‘at al-Qahera Khamsat ‘Ashara Yawm” [Appeal on the 15-day imprisonment of three Cairo University students is denied], Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, January 2015,; “al-Taqreer al-Esbou‘ie le-Intehakat al-Jame‘at: Man‘ al-Tolab Men Ada` al-Imtihanat Dakhel al-Habs wa al-Qabd ‘Ala Taleb le-Irteda`ohu ‘Shal Felesteeny’” [The weekly report on university violations: Students are prevented from taking exams from inside prison and one student was arrested for wearing the Palestinian shawl], Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, January 2015,; “al-Taqreer al-Esbou‘ie le-Intehakat al-Jame‘at: Ihalat Akthar Men ‘Ashreen Taleban lel-Neyaba al-‘Askareya… wa Jame‘at al-Azhar Tafsel al-‘Asharat Men al-Tolab” [The weekly report on university violations: 20 students are transferred to military courts…Al-Azhar University expels dozens of students], Association of Freedom of Thought and Expression, January 2015,

133 Mai Shams El-Din and Pesha Magid, “June 30, 3 Years on: State Efforts to Depoliticize Universities Falter,” Mada Masr, June 30, 2016,; Jano Charbel, “Labor Politicized or Politicized Labor,” Mada Masr,August 27, 2013,; Mada Masr, “‘Omal al-Tersana al-Bahareya Ahdath al-Madaneyeen al-Mohaleen lel-Qada` al-‘Askary” [Naval shipyard workers are the most recent civilians being referred to the military judiciary], Mada Masr, May 31, 2016,عمال-الترسانة-البحرية-أحدث-المدنيين-ا/; “Mou`asher al-Demoqrateya: 3691 Ihtejajan Fey Masr Khelal ‘Aam 2015” [The democracy barometer: 3,691 protests in Egypt in 2015], Demometer (blog), January 23, 2016,

134 Hadeer al-Mahdawy, “On the Eve of the Revolution’s Anniversary, the State Cajoles and Intimidates,” Mada Masr, January 5, 2016,; David Kirkpatrick, “U.S. Citizen, Once Held in Egypt’s Crackdown, Becomes Voice for Inmates,” New York Times, August 28, 2015,

135 Shady Zalat, “Dhekra Thawrat Yanayer…Bayn al-Ehtefa` wa al-Sard wa I‘adat al-Taqyeem” [The anniversary of the January Revolution…Between celebration, the narrative, and re-evaluation], Mada Masr, January 26, 2015,سياسة/ذكرى-ثورة-يناير-بين-الاحتفاء-والسرد-وإ/; Ahmed ‘Ezzat, “Ma al-Jadeed Fey al-Reqaba ‘Ala al-Internet Fey Masr?” [What’s new about Internet surveillance in Egypt?] Mada Masr, September 20, 2014,ما-الجديد-في-الرقابة-على-الإنترنت-في-مص/.

136 Mohamed Hamama, “Egypt’s New Cybercrime Bill Could Send You to Prison,” Mada Masr, October 12, 2016,; “Monazamat Tousy al-Barlaman be-Rafd Mashrou‘ Qanoun al-Jareema al-Elektroneya: ‘Behi Akhta` Jawhareya’” [Organizations recommend that Parliament reject the draft of the cybercrime law: “It contains grave mistakes”], Mada Masr, June 13, 2016,منظمات-توصي-البرلمان-برفض-مشروع-قانون/.

137 “Qadeyet Shaimaa al-Sabagh: Hokm be-Sejn Dabet Masry Khamasat ‘Ashara ‘Aaman Ba‘d Idanatohu bel-Dolou‘ Fey Qatlaha” [Shaimaa al-Sabagh’s Case: Egyptian police officer is sentenced to 15 years in prison after being convicted of involvement in her murder], BBC, June 11, 2015,

138 Mohamed Moqaled, “Tasfeyet Setat Irhabeyeen be-Shamal Sina’ wa al-Qabd ‘Ala Khaleya Shadeedat al-Khotoura” [6 terrorists eliminated in Sinai and arrests of a high-risk terror cell], al-Watan, October 10, 2015,; “Dabt Khaleya Nesa`eya Motahama be-Tanfeedh Tafjeerat Fey Sina’” [Arrest of a women terrorist cell accused of carrying out bombings in Sinai], Sky News Arabia, December 15, 2015,ضبط-خلية-نسائية-متهمة-بتنفيذ-تفجيرات-سيناء; Wael Kamal, “al-Sa‘qa Ta‘taqel Khaleya Irhabeya Tabe‘a le-Beit al-Maqdes be-Sina’” [Special commandos arrest a terrorist cell with ties to Beit al-Maqdes in Sina’], Dot Masr, January 24, 2015,الصاعقة-تعتقل-خلية-إرهابية-تابعة-لـ-بيت-المقدس-بسيناء.

139 Ahlam Hassanein, “Fey ‘Ahd al-Sisi…al-Lahw al-Khafy Ya‘oud Fey Thawb Ahl al-Shar” [In the Sisi era…Hidden hands come back dressed as evil people], Masr al-Arabiya, May 6, 2016,الحياة-السياسية/1047740-في-عهد-السيسي-اللهو-الخفي-يعود-في-ثوب-أهل-الشر; Mohamed Naseh, “Ba‘d Tekrareha Fey Ahadeeth al-Sisi…Mohaleloun Yakshefoun Man Hom ‘Ahl al-Shar’” [After Sisi repeatedly points to it in his statements…Experts uncover who the “evil people” are], al-Fagr, May 6, 2016,

140 Amr Abdallah, “5 ‘Awamel Hazet Sha’beyeit al-Sisi” [5 things that have shaken al-Sisi’s popularity], Masr Al-Arabia, May 16, 2016,الحياة-السياسية/1063346-5-عوامل-هزت-شعبية-السيسي.

141 Omar Ryad, “Living Under Curfew: Arish Transforms Into a Ghost Town,” Mada Masr, November 1, 2014,; “Masr: Hal Honak Bee`a Hadena lel-Tatarof Fey Sina’” [Egypt: Is there an incubator for extremism in Sinai?], BBC, April 13, 2015,

142 An example of this is the former minister of justice, judge Ahmed al-Zend. Without providing any evidence or waiting for court proceedings to unfold, he frequently accused the Muslim Brotherhood of standing behind terrorism in Sinai. He propagated hate speech saying that his “heart’s fire will not be extinguished unless in front of every martyr from the army and the police, ten thousand Muslim Brothers are killed.”

143 “al-Dakheleya al-Masreya: al-‘Othour ‘Ala Mota‘aleqat Julio Regeni Ba‘d Qatl ‘Essaba Motakhasesa Fey Intehal Sefat Dobat wa Ikhtetaf al-Ajaneb’” [Egyptian Interior Ministry: Julio Regeni’s belongings are found after the “killing of a gang that specialized in impersonating police officers and kidnapping foreigners”], CNN, March 25, 2016,; Ashraf ‘Abdel Hameed, “Masr Tousfey Qatalat al-Taleb al-Italy” [Egypt liquidatesthe killers of the Italian student], al-Arabiya, March 24, 2016,مصر-تصفية-تشكيل-عصابي-تخصص-في-اختطاف-الاجانب-.html; Mohamed Faheem, “al-‘Essaba al-Maqtoula Baree`a Men Damohu…fa-Ayn Wajadat al-Shorta al-Masreya Jawaz al-Taleb al-Italy Julio Regeni?” [The gang is innocent…So where did the Egyptian police find Julio Regeni’s passport?], Huffington Post, March 25, 2016,

144 “al-Sisi: Ihdharo Ahl al-Shar…Ya‘bathoun Fey ‘Oqoul al-Masryeeen ‘Ashan al-Donia Toqaf ” [Sisi: Beware of evil people…Messing with the minds of Egyptians so their life stops], YouTube video, posted by “Ahalena-TV,” May 22, 2016,

145 “al-Sisi: Honak Mokhatat Tomawelohu Dowal Dedena…wa Ana Insan Entom Ekhtartou” [Sisi: There is a plot against us being funded by foreign states….and I am the person you have chosen], CNN Arabic, January 10, 2017,

146 Maged ‘Atef, “al-Nezam al-Masry: ‘Abkareyet Sena‘et al-A‘da`” [The Egyptian regime: excellence in producing enemies], Raseef22, April 3, 2016,النظام-المصري-عبقرية-صناعة-الأعداء/.

147 Mahmoud ‘Abdel Qader, “Bakry Yohajem al-Barade‘i bel-Barleman: ‘Kha’en wa Yahmey al-Motamereen ‘Ala 147. Masr’” [Bakry attacks el-Baradei in Parliament: “A traitor who protects those who conspire against Egypt”], Masr al-Arabiya, October, 16, 2016,الحياة-السياسية/1288385-بكرى-يهاجم-البرادعى-بالبرلمان-خائن-ويحمى-المتآمرين-على-مصر; “Barlamany: ‘Human Rights Watch’ Monazema Mashbouha Tastaqy Ma‘loumataha Men al-Motamereen ‘Ala Masr” [Member of Parliament: Human Rights Watch is a suspicious organization that gathers its information from those who are conspiring against Egypt], Dot Masr, September 28, 2016,برلماني-هيومان-رايتس-ووتش-منظمة-مشبوهة-تستقي-معلوماتها-من-المتآمرين-على-مصر; Mostafa Bakry, “al-Motameroun ‘Ala al-Sisi,” [Those conspiring against Sisi], al-Arabiya, August, 23, 2016,المتآمرون-على-السيسى-.html; Heba ‘Afifi, “Ostourat al-Ayady al-Kharajeya…Arba‘et A‘wam Men al-Ibda‘ wa al-Baranoia” [The myth of foreign hands…Four years of creativity and paranoia], Mada Masr,February 2, 2015,سياسة/أسطورة-الأيادي-الخارجية-أربعة-أعوام-م/; Dalia Rabie‘, “Horoub al-Jeel al-Rabe‘…Ma‘raket Al‘ab al-‘Aql wa al-Kheda‘ al-Nafsy” [“‘Fourth generation warfare’ … the battle of mind games and psychological deception”], Mada Masr, September 8, 2015,سياسة/حروب-الجيل-الرابع-معركة-ألعاب-العقل-و/.