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Collective Punishment: Father of German-Egyptian Regime Critic arrested

Ten days ago Alaa Eladly, an Egyptian citizen living in Germany, was arrested upon his arrival in Cairo. The accusation? “Spreading false news”. The military dictatorship of Abdel Fattah el Sisi is known to use such fabricated accusations against political prisoners. Over 60,000 political prisoners are being held in Egyptian prisons on similar charges of “spreading false news” or “membership of a banned organization” since the 2013 el-Sisi coup.

Alaa Eladly’s daughter, Fagr Eladly, who has both German and Egyptian citizenship, is a well-known critic of the regime. At a press conference with Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin in 2015 Fagr Eladly insulted the ruler el Sisi as a murderer. The Rabaa massacre, where more than a thousand people were murdered by el Sisi’s military dictatorship, was less than two years ago.

Fagr Eladly, her family and supporters in Germany are now fighting to have Alaa Eladly released.

It is suspected that Alaa Eladly was arrested because of his daughter’s political work in Germany. In this way, the Egyptian regime is trying to silence dissidents abroad.

Alaa Eladly’s case is not an isolated case. The father of exiled journalist Ahmed Gamal Ziada was also recently arrested in Egypt. Through such methods of arresting family members of dissidents, the Egyptian military dictatorship is sending a signal to Egyptians abroad that they are ready to use any means necessary to maintain the oppressive status quo.

This status quo of the military dictatorship of el Sisi is supported and maintained by the German state and the European Union. The German federal government may occasionally complain that there are human rights violations in Egypt, but these “concerns” are merely an excuse to uphold the economic and political interests of the German state and German capital in Egypt – be it through arms exports, economic deals, stabilization of the Zionist settler-colonial state or isolation of refugees.