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Journalists call for release of colleagues in Egypt

February 4th, 2014
06:06 PM ET

Journalists worldwide are demanding the release of Al Jazeera staff detained in Egypt for over a month with the campaign #FreeAJStaff.

The White House has also urged Egypt to release imprisoned journalists and academics. "These figures, regardless of affiliation, should be protected and permitted to do their jobs freely in Egypt," White House spokesman told reporters today.

It's a story we have been covering for weeks, and we will continue to do so.

Filed under:  Egypt • Imagine a World

Egypt government suppressing ‘any voice of dissent,’ says targeted academic

January 28th, 2014
02:11 PM ET

What is going on in Egypt?

What is going on in Egypt? Christiane Amanpour explains, and speaks with NPR Cairo Bureau Chief Leila Fadel.

By Mick Krever, CNN

Three years to the week since Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak was forced from power, the country seems to have come full circle.

As the country’s first democratically elected leader, Mohamed Morsy, faced a Cairo courtroom months after he was forced from power, Egypt’s generals gave their blessing for Field Marshall Abdul Fatah el-Sisi to run for president.

Mubarak’s military-backed rule may, three years later, become el-Sisi’s military rule.

“In order to implement its [roadmap] they are suppressing any voice of dissent, mine included,” Egyptian academic Emad Shahin told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.

Shahin himself is an exemplary case of the state of Egypt today.

He was accused two weeks ago of espionage and conspiracy to undermine national security, but says he has not seen any concrete charges.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode

Amanpour confronts Egyptian businessman over jailing of journalists

January 14th, 2014
03:29 PM ET

Egypt businessman on the state of Egypt

Naguib Sawiris Egyptian businessman financially backed anti-Morsy protests

By Mick Krever, CNN

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday confronted Egyptian businessman Naguib Sawiris over the jailing of three al Jazeera journalists in that country.

Sawiris – one of Egypt’s wealthiest citizens, founder of the Free Egyptians Party and former chairman of the telecom giant Orascom – provided financial support for the opposition to former President Mohamed Morsy.

Peter Greste, Mohamed Fadel Fahmy and Baher Mohamed from Al Jazeera English were arrested by Egyptian authorities on December 29 and have been held since.

Egyptian authorities say the journalists held illegal meetings with the Muslim Brotherhood, which was declared a terrorist group last month.

“Three of my colleagues are in jail for doing their job, as you know well,” Amanpour said.

Sawiris raised doubts about the journalists’ credentials to be in the country, and said that al Jazeera was “fabricating” stories.

“These are allegations that they’ve obviously denied, and we deny it on behalf of our colleagues as well,” Amanpour said.

Click above to see Amanpour’s full interview with Sawiris.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Journalism • Latest Episode

Egyptian Father says his jailed daughter was ‘raised to speak her mind freely’

December 5th, 2013
03:24 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Few cases exemplify the state of Egypt today like the arrest of Ola Ezzat.

She and 20 other young women and girls – seven of them underage – were at a peaceful, pro-Muslim Brotherhood protest in Alexandria when they were picked up the police.

They were sentenced to 11 years plus one month in prison.

On Thursday, CNN’s Christiane Amanour spoke with Ola’s father, Alaa Eldin Ezzat, from Cairo.

“She is strong,” Ezzat said, whose wife visited their daughter earlier in the day. “She sent a message saying that ‘I will continue what I am doing and I am proud of it.’”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode

Egyptian state attempting to stifle all activism and protest, says Human Rights Watch

December 5th, 2013
03:23 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

The arrest and sentencing to 11 years in prison of 21 young women at a Muslim Brotherhood protest was designed to send a single message, says Human Rights Watch: “stop protesting.”

“These women were peacefully protesting and have been sentenced to this disproportionately high and crazy sentence,” Heba Morayef, director of the Middle East and North Africa Division for Human Rights Watch, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“To put it into perspective, one of the only police officers sentenced for killing protesters was given three years,” she said. “The message there is that it doesn't matter if they're women; it doesn't matter if they are young – we will sentence protesters.”

Egyptian prosecutors on Thursday laid their first charges under new laws outlawing protest “resisting authorities,” against leading political activist Ahmed Maher.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode

Egypt not on a ‘proper path to democracy,’ suggests Egypt deputy PM, who blames Morsy

November 4th, 2013
04:25 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

On the day former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsy emerged from four months of military captivity to face trial, Deputy Prime Minister Ziad Bahaa el-Din implied to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour that Egypt is not on a “proper path to democracy,” while blaming that state of affairs on Morsy.

Bahaa el-Din said that it was under Morsy’s presidency that “freedoms began to be taken” and “the constitution was no longer upheld.”

“Having said this,” he said, “we need to keep our eyes fixed on not continuing in that road, and as quickly as possible, as strongly as possible, going back to a proper path of democracy.”

The deputy prime minister represents a voice of moderation in the interim government at a time when Egypt has become hyperpolarized, violent, and politically bewildering.

He admitted to Amanpour that compromise had become a “dirty word” in Egypt.


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode

Removing the black and white from Egyptian struggle

October 23rd, 2013
08:45 AM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

To read the headlines, Egypt since the ousting of President Mubarak two-and-a-half years ago has been in a hopeless state of constant tumult, divided between Islamists and secularists, the government and the opposition.

A new documentary – “The Square,” a reference to the now-famous Tahrir Square – tries to get beyond that and tell the street-level story of the activists on all sides who have been fighting for change.

“We've been filming in the square – myself and a team of talented filmmakers – for the past three years,” Filmmaker Jehane Noujaim told CNN’s Hala Gorani, in for Christiane Amanpour, on Tuesday.


Filed under:  Egypt • Latest Episode

Egypt will ‘find other sources’ for aid if needs not met

October 17th, 2013
02:44 PM ET

Christiane Amanpour's full interview with Foreign Minister Fahmy is online here.

By Mick Krever, CNN

In the wake of the U.S. suspending significant military support to Egypt, that country will “find other sources” if its national security needs are not met, Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“If your friends in the region, when they’re facing terrorism in particular, cannot depend on a continuous supply of equipment that deals with terrorism, then you are obviously going to raise questions in the mind of those friends about your dependability,” he told Amanpour, referring to the United States. “And that will affect your interests as well as those of your friends, like Egypt.”

Fahmy called the suspension of some aid a “freeze, or delay” – not a “cut-off.”

The United States announced last week that it would withdraw a significant portion of its military aid to Egypt.

The decision came after months of debate since President Morsy was deposed in early July. The American government did not call that a “coup”; if it had done so, it would then have been legally obligated to withdraw aid.

But the harsh government crackdown on pro-Morsy protestors in the past – including hundreds killed in August and dozens just last week – was seen as a step too far by the interim government.

Fahmy pleaded with the international community to be patient with Egypt.

“I refer you back to the U.S. system,” Fahmy said. “It took you a very long number of years before you gave African Americans equal rights in America. So let’s just respect how difficult it has been.”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode

FULL interview – Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy

October 17th, 2013
11:14 AM ET

Above is Christiane Amanpour's full interview with Egyptian Foreign Minister Nabil Fahmy.

Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt

Is the Muslim Brotherhood banned? ‘No … maybe’

September 26th, 2013
06:26 PM ET

By Mick Krever, CNN

Is the Muslim Brotherhood banned in Egypt?

Earlier this week, an Egyptian court ordered a ban on activities of the Muslim Brotherhood and froze its finances, according to state-run news website EgyNews.

Not so fast, a top adviser ElMostafa Hegazy, political and strategic adviser to the president of Egypt, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Thursday.

“The Muslim Brotherhood as an organization” – Hegazy using air quotes as he said the word – “has never been a legal organization,” he told Amanpour. “It has been only a name, a slogan, that’s called the MBs, but all the time – as you said – they’ve been running as independents under this kind of theme, under this kind of slogan.”

“Maybe,” he allowed, “I would say – in a slogan way of saying it – that they have been a ‘banned organization.’”


Filed under:  Christiane Amanpour • Egypt • Latest Episode
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