A leaked video appears to show Egypt’s military generals deciding how to control the country’s media.
|All we have been hearing since the overthrow of Morsi is that Egypt is on the path to democracy …. Well, controlling the media is not democratic …. The problem is that the army is able to get away with this because a large part of [the] Egyptian public is cheering on the crackdown on [the] media ….
Sharif Nashashibi, a Middle East political analyst
The footage was released by activists, and shows General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, Egypt’s army chief, addressing senior officers in the months before President Mohamed Morsi was ousted.
The recording starts with an officer urging el-Sisi to find a way of frightening journalists into not criticising the army. “We must re-establish red lines for the media. We need to find a new way of neutralising them; the media in Egypt is controlled by 20 or 25 people. We should engage with these people directly and individually – either terrorise them or win them over,” the officer is heard saying.
For his part, el-Sisi is heard saying: “I know how to win them over, but tell me how you suggest I terrorise them? … It takes a long time before you are able to affect and control the media. We are working on this.”
In another leaked broadcast, el-Sisi is heard lobbying journalists and intellectuals, arguing that he should be granted immunity from prosecution should he fail to become president: “You together with the educated elite are supposed to lead a campaign calling for an article included in the constitution granting immunity to General Sisi by virtue of his office as a defence minister allowing him to re-assume his duties in case he is not elected as a president.” …
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