Egypt’s Crackdown on Expression Continues

cartoon about travelling

While not strictly about citizen media, as a follow up to last week’s post on cartoonists mocking the Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, it felt important to highlight the arrest of Egyptian (professional) cartoonist Islam Gawish on the basis of drawings criticising the president, on Sunday 31 January. In a move typical of the Egyptian Interior Ministry, the official reason for the arrest was supposed irregularities in paperwork relating to Gawish’s “website”. But it is difficult to accept that Gawish’s (occaisional) mockery of the president was not the chief reason behind his arrest. Although Gawish was released the following day, on 1 February, his arrest is another example of how the  harassment of writers who criticise the president to any extent has become the norm in el-Sisi’s Egypt.

More details on Gawish’s arrest are available from AP.



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