How Sisi’s Strongman Playbook Silenced Egyptian Protesters | NYT News


[protesters chanting]
In September, Egyptians did
something that no one really
saw coming:
They defied Egypt’s strongman,
President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi,
by going out
in public and calling
on him to step down.
But the bold outburst
was short-lived.
[shooting]
Police hit back with tear gas
and rubber bullets,
then random searches,
road closings,
and more than 2,000 arrests.
It was the largest sweep since
Sisi came to power in 2014.
The message was clear:
Dissent will not
be tolerated.
And to crush his
opposition, Sisi
called on what has become
his standard playbook.
[shooting]
[screams]
While visiting with
President Trump at the U.N.,
Sisi blamed his favorite
boogeyman, the Islamists.
But the arrests back in
Egypt have been wide-ranging
and include pro-democracy
advocates, academics,
lawyers and journalists.
Human rights lawyer
Mahienour El-Massry
was arrested in front
of a courthouse.
Her sister said she was
forced into a vehicle
by plainclothes officers.
“The way she was arrested,
it was really, really shocking
because it was
almost a kidnap.”
Alaa Abdel Fattah,
a secular blogger,
was arrested while
he was in jail.
He was on probation for
a previous conviction.
“The regime years ago
decided to make symbols out
of specific people and
so charge at them whenever
they want to set an example
to other revolutionaries
or other opposition,
and so on.”
And in many cases,
those arrested
appear to have been plucked at
random, like this young man.
Witnesses said
Ahmed El Agroudy and two friends
were arrested while walking to
their car after a night out.
“I felt helpless.
We weren’t allowed to go
into the police station.
Please just let us see him.”
Now, many face arbitrary
charges like terrorism
and spreading fake news.
The protests appear to
have been instigated
by this man, Mohamed Ali.
Ali is a contractor, who
worked for the military,
and says he’s now living in
self-imposed exile in Spain.
He claims the
government robbed him.
And he’s used his
rants to try to appeal
to everyday Egyptians, people
struggling to make ends meet.
Ali accuses Sisi
and the military
of squandering the country’s
money on vanity projects.
Sisi’s response: so what?
Across Egypt, images
of the spreading unrest
were widely shared
over social media.
The police tried to block it.
This video appears to show
police officers shooting
at a woman who was
filming from her balcony.
[shooting]
[screams]
And shortly after this man
live-streamed the clashes
unfolding in front of him,
he posted one final message
that day.
Within a week, Cairo,
normally loud and beyond busy,
was on
total lockdown — silenced.
Except for this, a
well-organized, pro-Sisi rally.
Sisi’s playbook seems
to be working, for now.

57 comments

  1. Do something that no one dreams of!?!?!?! The Egyptians have had dozens upon dozens of such revolts over the last century.

  2. Hong Kong friends should use slingshot to shoot bullets or small bricks which are easy to use and sold on very cheap websites, the accuracy of this gun is also very high. Hong Kong police will have to run away if you use this type of slingshot

  3. When the government doesn't fear the people it does whatever it wants.
    Those who complain about oppression of this country, want to censor words and disarm us should watch this video and understand what's truly going on here

  4. No to mob rule! Every time a mob seize power, minorities suffers and new enemies are targeted who cannot fight back

  5. Poor Egyptians. Life under Mubarak was NEVER as brutal and callous as it is now. 60,000 political 'prisoners' in jail. All rotting away in terrible conditions. Sisi is on another level in being cruel and he knows he can get away with it cause trump backs authoritarian regimes. Under Obama he would never have dared to do this.

  6. I'm glad to live in Ethiopia where I can go to sleep and not be shaking in fear. Send Sisi to Hong Kong. They'll really have something to protest about then.

  7. Fascism by any other name smells just as foul. China, Egypt, Russia. Shitholes one and all.
    Edit: Trump would gladly add the US to that list to keep power and stay outta the slammer.

  8. Good people know only to pray. That's the reason bad people are in power . We need to be strong. Why yo fear death , that will come for sure , so do good things till you are alive. And don't fear from the people who are not worth respecting

  9. Americans have no reason to even protest in light of what injustice is happening around the world.

    America shouts "Area 51!", "Black lives matter", "White power!"
    Other countries " Freedom!", "Life!", "Liberties!"

    I hope for the best for those suffering counties; China, Egypt, and many others.

  10. Egypt's foreign debt is 106% of GDP. 95.5% of Egypt's territory is dead hot sand desert.  More than 90% of 100 million Egypt's population live in the Nile valley being 100% relaying on the Nile where Egypt adds 0% of water to the Nile but it comes far away from the Ethiopian highland. Religion, race, ethnicity and clan divisions and discriminations are bad and deadly in Egypt as they are in the rest of the ME such as Saudi, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Yemen and others. Egypt is in a civil war in Sinai since 2013. Its population grows dramatically while the resources and opportunities are getting less and less.  In Cairo are living 22 million which is more than the population of Norway, Den Mark, Finland and Sweden. Cairo's population will reach 30 million before 2040.  

    Egypt's is facing a very huge task ahead. The only way they can try to get out of it or minimize the damage is having the rule of law, democratic process and free and fair election.  They way the Sisi rule is dealing today against the citizen will not solve anything but will
    worsen the situation ahead.  Egypt must be free from the Military rule and Islamic religion anything including MB that was created by the English colonizers in 1929 using against the king that was against the English rule in Egypt.

  11. Support the Egyptian government unless you want more refugees flooding the west Egypt is a great country with a successful government

  12. Protest is due to income disparity and corruption, Muslim brotherhood protest cost billions of dollars to Egypt, Muslim brotherhood shud be asked to pay

  13. How can they resist better? Maybe better concealment when filming for one thing. Camouflage your cameras and all. Avoid detection. The Police have no fear of the law, I would say.

    Be sneaky. Don't get caught. (Thank you for the piles of martyrs. I get the point. I really wouldn't care for anymore.) Live to fight another day, someway, somehow, maybe.

  14. I wish strength upon the Egyptian people and that they are able to organize and express themselves in public. I hope their leaders listen to their demands.

  15. Al sisi was put in place by usa and isreal . He is their man and their puppet in egypt. Every euro-american countries back him and funds him.

  16. What is that, im egyptian and this video is false, shame on who collect of footage like this and publish it at this time, egypt is safe, we dont have revolution against the government at the moment.

  17. meanwhile in America they cry about how free speech is getting us killed and needs to go. I have an idea..Let's get rid of free speech just long enough for all NYT journalists to be executed by the government. Then we can bring it right back.

  18. Really I'm satisfied to be here in Egypt where peace and safety are every where due to our army and the police…thanks God🌿🌿🌿🌿🌿

  19. the dictators stick together: Drumf, Brasil, Putin, Venezuela, Turkey etc. etc. etc. etc. It's the outcome of the planned sabbatean frankists. YES folks, check it out on youtube. We're living in a dangerous time

  20. You think bringing down a stable government that improves the country will help egypt? all you do is creating syria 2.0, and guess where the egyptian refugees will escape to once their country falls into civil wars and instabilities…AMERICA AND THE EU!
    Enjoy the refugees and terrorists you will create!

  21. He is pushing people to be real terrist and to become extremely aggressive. This pressure will cause uncontroled explosion at end.
    And actually in that time we don't want to see face of America or Europe because the supported him.

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