Al-Sisi and the black box – Middle East Monitor


The new mantra of the military regime in power in Egypt when someone tries to express an opinion that differs from the official narrative is that “the losses are our duty. ”This, in short, is a summary of what happened to the host of the TV show“ Black Box ”, Abdel-Rahim Ali last week.

The regime, apparently, has decided to open the black box of Abdel-Rahim Ali, one of its most important media arms. Ali, who aired audio leaks of many political figures on his program, received such tapes from a party believed to be General Intelligence Service, as usual, or Military Intelligence.

Ali has now insulted the Egyptian state after promoting himself as one of its protectors and defenders. He questioned the patriotism of every opposition figure and described them as enemies of Egypt. We now know that those who persist in defending the prestige and sovereignty of the country in public insult the state in private and make fun of the law during personal telephone conversations.

The real problem is that Abdel-Rahim Ali not only insulted the Egyptian state and made fun of the rule of law, but he also crossed all red lines in that leaked telephone conversation. He personally made fun of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi. The issue is no longer about who leaked that conversation between Ali and his son-in-law, the Attorney General, but rather Ali’s belittling Al-Sisi.

READ: Al-Sisi’s Egypt is a land without justice

A few days earlier, an audio recording of Amr Al-Ganaini, head of the normalization committee appointed for the Egyptian Football Association, had leaked, mocking Al-Sisi and saying that the president does not even know the shape of the ball. Hours after the leak, Al-Ganaini was fired from the board of Commercial International Bank after being charged with corruption. This is how the accusations suddenly appeared and the dismissal decision was made.

The common factor between Al-Ganaini and Abdel-Rahim Ali is that some parties have decided to publish audio leaks containing a direct insult to the head of the military regime in Egypt.

Journalists normally protect their sources of sensitive information, but this time asking for the source of the tapes may be more important than exposing what was leaked. So if we leave aside the source of the leak, whether it’s an activist, a media, a TV channel, or even an unheard-of social media page, and instead focus on finding the person who recorded the insults against Al-Sisi, then we could have a lead.

Someone within the regime has now decided to release endless escapes, which are not bound by journalistic ethics or political etiquette. The Egyptian ruling class thrives on spying and telephone surveillance, followed by extortion and leaks of audio and video material to assassinate a person’s character or blackmail him. There have been many incidents like this. Safwat Al-Sherif, the information minister in the Mubarak era, and Salah Nasr in Abdel Nasser’s time did the same thing.

READ: Egypt: nearly 2,000 arrested by September protests

The losses will not stop in Egypt and we can expect to see many more from a range of sources. The stories will vary and the protagonists will be different, but in all of them there will be a common factor: all will contain insults against Al-Sisi in one way or another.

This will not lead to the departure of the Egyptian president, but it clearly means that insulting and belittling the head of state through such leaks could be a new way to annoy him. Under the military rule, which is hostile to everyone, including military and civilians, repression has reached all levels of Egyptian society. Some people have come together to fight back by opening Al-Sisi’s black box in hopes of overthrowing him.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.

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