Egypt’s Policy of Repression Against Free Expression Continues

September 1, 2023

On August 20, 2023, prominent publisher and democracy advocate, Hisham Kassem was arrested by the Egyptian authorities. Mr. Kassem was summoned to testify in a defamation case filed against him by the former Minister of Manpower, Kamal Abu Eita, accusing Mr. Kassem of insult and slander. After refusing to pay bail of 5,000 Egyptian pounds, Mr. Kassem was referred to al-Sayeda Zeinab police station to be taken into custody. Mr. Kassem currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Free Movement in Egypt. Previously, Mr. Kassem served as the publisher of Al-Masry Al-Youm (known in English as “Egypt Independent”), an independent newspaper in Egypt, and was also a member of the World Movement for Democracy’s Steering Committee. The Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies (CIHRS) states that the Egyptian authorities’ unrelenting targeting of independent voices clearly indicates their lack of intent to ease repression, as Egypt approaches presidential elections while facing a severe economic crisis.

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