Egyptian media hysterical support for Sisi regime

Egyptian media hysterical support for Sisi regime
Since the coup in July 2013, both official and privately owned Egyptian media have given an almost hysterical support for the Sisi regime and all its transgressions including mass executions.
3 min read
20 May, 2015
The six men were executed on Sunday
Egypt's media, both private and state-owned have again come into the spotlight for their coverage of the 'Arab Sharkas' case, after six men were executed on Sunday over a an alleged gunfight last year at a suspected bomb factory.

A military court convicted the six men of killing two military officers in an hourlong battle with police, military and special forces during a raid north of Cairo in March 2014.

Judicial officials said the men also were convicted of belonging to the Sinai-based militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has since pledged allegiance to the extremist Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) group.

However, rights group Amnesty International described the trial of the defendants Ahmed Abu Saree, Muhammed Ali, Hani Amer, Muhammed Bakri, Khalid Faraj and Islam Sayyid, as “grossly unfair”, pointing out that two of the defendants were already in prison when the shoot-out took place.

Egyptian media

Despite international and local condemnation, as well as the outcry over the accuracy of the sentencing, Egypt's media welcomed the executions.

During his show Min el-Akher (The Bottomline) on Rotana Egypt TV, host Tamer Amin said, "The purpose of court verdicts is to serve justice and deter others. I salute the military justice system that executed the killers and terrorists."

CBC anchor, Lamis al-Hadidi praised the Egyptian judiciary on her show Huna al-Aasima (From the Capital) for "avenging the martyrs of the army and the police."

In her report on the execution, journalist Rania Badawi preempted reactions by railing against the victims, calling them "terrorists and killers".

She also criticised social media activists who condemned the sentencing calling them "traitors and human rights profiteers".

Badawi tried to justify the execution by focusing on the casualties of the army, the police and the slain judges, calling on citizens to ignore the activists.

Television host of Sada al-Balad (Echo of the Country) Dina Ramez said, "At last, the country’s citizens in the army and the police will have some solace," adding that the execution had "relieved all Egyptians."

She also attacked international human rights organisations for condemning the execution, saying it was a "blatant interference in Egypt’s affairs."

Other Egyptian television networks like Orbit, al-Hayat (Life), al-Faraeen (The Pharaohs) and Nile News focused their coverage on the police officers and soldiers targeted in the acts of violence.

The gist of the coverage was that there should be no sympathy whatsoever with the "killers".

The print and electronic press pursued the same line in their coverage, smearing the executed youths, and linking the recent assassination of three judges in Sinai to the execution of the six young men with headlines like "Bidding farewell to martyrs... executing killers".

Al-Wafd, the daily newspaper published by the Wafd party in Giza carried the headline "The punishment begins: Execution of 6 terrorists from the Arab Sharkas cell."

Al Gomhuria, an influential state-owned daily newspaper, asked "Why are you defending terrorists and ignoring the martyrdom of innocent judges?"

Privately owned daily newspaper al-Masri al-Yawm’s main headline read "Egypt avenges the martyrs of the judiciary".

The newspaper wrote in the body of the story that the execution was a "swift revenge for the martyrs of the army, the police, and the souls of the three judges."

Social media

However, the online opinions were far different from those expressed in Egyptian media, with hashtags such as #StopEgyEx and #عرب_شركس (Arab_Sharkas) trending on social media site Twitter.