At the time of writing, at least 24 citizens have died in Egyptian detention facilities this year.
The Interior Ministry issued a new propaganda video, about how wonderful health care is inside prisons, that one wishes hospitals outside were as good, according to the video. This is not my sarcasm. This was literally said.
The video is what one would normally expect, of shiny clinics in prisons, clean facilities, and praise showered from “prisoners” on how ethically they are treated.
One thing that struck me though was seeing Samir Omar, the Sky News Arabia correspondent in Cairo, going on to give a propaganda speech in defense of the Interior Ministry.
I haven’t been in touch with Samir for years, but at some point in my life he was a friend. From Nasserist activists’ ranks he went on to join Al-Jazeera and became its star Cairo correspondent for years, covering the Kefaya protests and the burgeoning scene of dissent. Samir was very brave journalist and sympathetic to grassroots activists and human rights defenders. It is a pity to see him hitting rock bottom.
It’s already disgusting he’s sold his soul to Sky News Arabia, the official mouthpiece of Arab counterrevolutions, but gosh! It was a shock to see him praising the same prisons he had reported for years on their brutality and horrors, prisons that housed (and still house) former friends of his!