Bahey eldin Hassan

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This has been a grim month for Egyptians who seek a better life and believe in dignity and freedom.

First, on April 9, there was President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi’s visit to the White House, where he received a warm welcome from his U.S. counterpart. President Trump uttered only a few hollow compliments about the situation in Egypt; he made no mention of Sissi’s dismal human rights record. Then, on April 16, the tame parliament in Cairo approved amendments to the constitution that could allow Sissi to remain in office until 2030.

According to statements by two senior judicial officials, the amendments would give Sissi complete authority over the judiciary and institutionalize the military’s dominance over political life.…  Seguir leyendo »

A banner shows Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi with an Arabic message that reads, “You are the hope,” in Cairo on Wednesday. (Nariman El-Mofty/AP)

Egypt is approaching a critical moment. Since last fall, the popularity of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has steadily diminished not only among the public and many of Egypt’s secular and Islamist intellectuals but also among key supporters of his regime. He’s still going to win the sham presidential election scheduled for March 26 to 28. But there are many signs that his second term might not last for as long as he hopes.

Sissi has unleashed a crackdown on dissent that has no parallel in the country’s modern history. Yet this campaign is falling short of its intended objectives. Now discontent is brewing among the ruling elite, including the military.…  Seguir leyendo »

Mourners gathered at the funeral for the victims of a bomb explosion at Mar Girgis Coptic church in Tanta, Egypt on Monday. Credit Mohamed Hossam/European Pressphoto Agency

The Islamic State’s affiliate in Egypt is on the march. On Palm Sunday, a pair of bombs killed 45 people at church. This was the third major attack on Coptic churches in less than four months — and the first such attack recently in major Egyptian cities, which many people believed were more secure. These attacks follow after months of terrorism, and they could have been predicted: Just two months ago, the Sinai-based Islamic State affiliate issued a video promising that the group would target Copts in Egypt’s mainland.

hese attacks demonstrate that President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s counterterrorism strategy is failing.…  Seguir leyendo »