Does Reading This Deserve A Year in an Egyptian Prison?
Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Egypt’s opposition fearing President, has just given the courts the right to block websites ‘deemed a threat to national security’ – a standard euphemism for ‘being critical of the regime’ or ‘concerned about human rights.’ Anyone who browses such sites will face a minimum of one year in prison.
Now, we are the first to admit this web-site could be improved. It is sarcastic and satirical and sometimes downright rude about leaders who make a point of making their countries lousy places to live. But should it actually be a crime to visit it?
Well, you might say, but the dweller’s guide hasn’t yet said anything critical of Egypt, so what are you making such a fuss about?
That’s a fair point, so, to make sure it’s worth the year to be spent in an Egyptian prison, here’s some of what the The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet had to say about Egypt:
“The 2011 Arab Spring uprising swept away Egypt’s long-standing leader, Hosni Mubarak, who had ruled the country from 1980. That was good. Power was handed over to the Egyptian military who suspended the constitution. That wasn’t so good. But only temporarily, so that was good again. In 2012 the Muslim Brotherhood won a series of apparently fair elections and Mohamed Morsi became president. Morsi attempted to force through an extreme Islamic constitution whilst at the same time granting himself powers that even Mubarak hadn’t dreamt of. That was pretty bad. On 3 July 2013, Morsi was deposed by a coup d’état led by the army (well, the Minister of Defence, General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, anyway) and millions of Egyptians took to the streets in support of early elections. El-Sisi went on to become Egypt’s president by popular election in 2014. So that was good. Unfortunately, it’s been unadulterated shite since then.
el-Sisi’s rule is entirely authoritarian (maybe you can’t entirely blame him given the recent history) there’s no real opposition allowed – either from the Islamists of the Muslim Brotherhood or the hopeful liberals who started the whole thing on the streets of Cairo 10 years ago.”
OK, hopefully, you feel better now.
If you think that one day the fountain pen may yet be mightier than the sword and for all you need to know about everywhere, read The Dweller’s Guide To The Planet