Alaa al-Aswani: Sisi is Using the War on Terror to Silence Dissent

On Friday, the famous Egyptian writer Alaa al-Aswani attacked the use of “war on terror” by Abdel Fattah al-Sisi to strengthen his authority and suppress the opposition.

Aswani said in his article in Washington Post that the Egyptian authorities arrest anyone criticizing Sisi, whether in an article or in a work of art or in a meeting or on social media, and hit the example of young Mahmoud Mohammed Hussein, 18, who was detained for two years without Trial because he wore a T-shirt bearing the words “a homeland without torture.”

Aswani confirms that he himself is threatened for writing this article and his attack on Sisi, but believes that it is the duty of the writer to defend freedom.

Aswani also spoke about the political activist Alaa Abdel-Fattah, who spent five years in prison because he expressed his opinion peacefully. After his release, he now spends every night from 6 pm until 6 am in a closed cell inside a police station.

The famous Egyptian writer points out that the Sisi regime does not even try to demonstrate respect for human rights. The authorities use torture, ill-treatment and enforced disappearances against hundreds of people. Dozens were executed against the law and with impunity.

Aswani also continued his attack on Sisi, saying: “Sisi’s freedom of expression has died. The regime controls the newspapers, television channels, movies and television production companies, all of which have turned into sissy trumpets.”

On the war on terror, Aswani said that Sisi is using an argument to suppress his political opponents rather than terrorists. He even recently held a referendum to amend the constitution to extend his term until 2030, giving him power to control the judiciary and putting the military above the political process.

“Terrorism will not end without justice, justice can only be achieved through the rule of law, and the rule of law prevails only in a democratic state, and Egypt is not a democratic state,” he concluded.