Even in a Pandemic, Egypt’s Sisi Only Has One Gear: Repression

A lab technician works at the Eva Pharma facility in Cairo, Egypt, July 12, 2020 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).
A lab technician works at the Eva Pharma facility in Cairo, Egypt, July 12, 2020 (AP photo by Nariman El-Mofty).

The new coronavirus field hospital, in a Cairo convention center, has enough space for 4,000 beds. Like so many things in Egypt, it was built by the armed forces. When President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who had once described the virus’s trajectory in Egypt as “reassuring,” toured its vast halls in late June, he didn’t look like he was worried about a surge of COVID-19 patients. Instead, flanked as usual by men in army fatigues, Sisi turned the hospital into another stage to project his authority. But after calling any and all critics of his government’s handling of the pandemic “enemies […]

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