Egyptian minister: Sisi opponents abroad will be “cut to pieces.”
Dictator Al-Sisi of Egypt, King Salman of Saudi Arabia, and Trump, birds of feather, meet in 2017. Trump supports both leaders who murder political opponents on a regular basis. May 21, 2017, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

At a meeting July 22 with the Egyptian community in Montreal, that country’s foreign minister, Nabila Makram Abdelshahid, assured attendees that any Egyptian living abroad who publicly criticizes the Al Sisi dictatorship will be murdered. Makram, who is officially charged with protecting Egyptians abroad, instead described graphically how they will be assassinated: “If anyone abroad criticizes our country he will be cut to pieces,” Makram said, slitting her own throat in mock fashion with her hand. The threats were captured on video by several people in the audience.

MInister threatens dissidents abroad.

#Egypt Minister for Immigration and Egyptians Abroad Affairs Nadia Makram AbdelShahid threatens Egyptian dissidents abroad with #khashoggi's fate during her current visit to #Canada in a dinner with Egyptian Expats.

Posted by Egyptian Revolutionary Council – English on Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Anti-coup activists, both in Egypt and around the world, moved quickly to condemn the minister’s threats and are acting to protect people who are in danger.

The Egyptian Revolutionary Council declared that unafraid, it will continue to struggle for the freedom of the Egyptian people. The council translated her threats into English and broadcast video of the same on its Facebook pages.

In response to council suggestions, anti-Sisi Egyptians around the world are calling local police departments informing them about the existence of a criminal threat against them made by Makram. They are filing written complaints on forms provided by the council thereby turning this threat into a massive show of support for democracy in Egypt.

Dr. Mohammad Salah, chief of the council’s media department, has urged all countries that recognize and deal with Egypt on a diplomatic level to protest the actions of the minister and to consider severing relations with the dictatorship.

Since the military coup of 2013, Egypt has seen countless human rights violations. Thousands of innocent people have been killed by police and military, with tens of thousands imprisoned. They have been subjected to torture, sexual abuse, and denial of necessary medical care. The military coup leader, General Abdelfattah El-Sisi, who grabbed power and became president, allows and encourages officers to kill people, promising them that no investigations or trials will result from injuring or killing civilian citizens.

The latest threats by Makram step up Al-Sisi’s policy of extending threats to Egyptians living abroad as well. For quite some time, Egyptian authorities have already been asserting their right to grab opponents of the regime living abroad and haul them back to Egypt for “justice.”

During live talk television programs, pro-coup media personnel have named opposition figures abroad, urging people to kill them if they can. Sisi regime authorities have threatened opponents and critics with the same destiny that befell Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in October 2018.

Despite the evidence, Khashoggi’s murderer has not faced any serious consequences or legal punishments. In December 2018, the U.S. Senate rebuked Donald Trump’s response to the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and signaled new skepticism from Capitol Hill toward Saudi Arabia.

It is widely believed that the Trump administration’s refusal to act against Khashoggi’s murderer encouraged the Sisi regime, also backed by Trump, to peruse threatening opponents abroad.

Broad cross-sections of the Egyptian communities abroad are expressing concern and fear in the wake of the latest threats.

“I would be concerned to visit Egypt. I know they’re watching us, and they know who is active and inactive outside the country.” Maher Rizkalla, president of Canadian Coptic Association said.

On July 23, 2019, Makram tried to justify the threat she made saying that it was “spontaneous and smooth speech that reaches people’s hearts,” and that it was “misunderstood.”

On July 24, 2019, the deputy spokesman for the United Nation Secretary-General, Farhan Haq, stated that “the Secretary-General wants to make sure that all officials abide by the need to avoid hate speech, but, of course, we stand against any incitement to violence. And, of course, everywhere in the world, people should be able to exercise their freedom of expression regardless of which country and which topic is at hand.”

The Egyptian embassy in Ottawa did not respond to a request for comment from Peoples World.

Makram was born in 1969 and received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Economics in 1991. She started her career by working for the Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs in 1993. She also worked in Egyptian embassies and consulates in Brazil, the U.S., Italy, and the UAE. In September of 2015, Makram became Egyptian Foreign Affairs minister.


CONTRIBUTOR

Aboulfotouh Kandil
Aboulfotouh Kandil

Aboulfotouh Kandil is a freelance writer on socio-political issues and human rights with a main focus on the Middle East.

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