Egypt slams The Economist over report on 'unloved and lonely president'
The SIS accused the report of "violating all rules and ethics" of journalism.
The report was published in the weekly UK-based magazine's latest issue on 15 June and titled, "An unloved and lonely president".
The Economist's reporter, whose name remained anonymous probably for security reasons, begins the piece in question by comparing Sisi to Khedive Ismail who drove Egypt into bankruptcy in the 19th century as a result of mega projects and extravagant expenditures relying on external debts rather than the country's resources.
It then detailed subsequent failures under Sisi's rule, mostly in terms of political and economic policies which have arguably brought the country to the verge of bankruptcy and cites unnamed citizens belonging to the middle class.
Egypt's external debt soared by 5.1 per cent during the fourth quarter of 2022, reaching $US162.94 billion.
In October last year, the Central Bank of Egypt imposed an exchange rate flexibility, allowing the value of the Egyptian pound to be regulated by market forces in a bid to save an already ailing economy after securing a US$3 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). US$1 is equal to 30.95 EGP at the publishing time.
Even though Egyptians are disappointed in Sisi's performance, they are "scared of the chaos another uprising would bring," the report read.
In response to the article, the SIS said it would summon The Economist's correspondent in Egypt to present him a letter of objection and demand the magazine to be "impartial and objective."
Led by the former chairman of the journalists' syndicate and a prominent political analyst, Diaa Rashwan, known for his loyalty to the regime, SIS is a state-run agency that offers the accreditation and the necessary permits for international press and media outlets operating in Egypt.
The Economist's bureau in Egypt could not be reached for comment at the time of publishing.
A former Egyptian journalists' syndicate board member, who spoke on condition of anonymity, expressed concern towards the SIS's move.
"At some point, we fooled ourselves to believe that international journalism was untouchable and expressed what we couldn't do in local press…But it seems we are decades away from freedom of press and expression in Egypt," the board member told The New Arab.
In April this year, 33 journalists who live in self-exile outside the country were added to the terror watch list in Egypt, while several journalists are already behind bars or awaiting trial in a country ranked as the world's third-worst jailer of journalists.
Over 500 local and international websites of organisations and news outlets, including Human Rights Watch, Al Jazeera Arabic and Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, the sister company of The New Arab, have been blocked in the country for years.