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13 years after the Revolution

On the 13th anniversary of the Egyptian revolution, ZDF broadcast an originally French-speaking documentary about the situation in Egypt under the military dictatorship. The documentary shows the bitter reality under the regime of Abdel Fattah el Sisi, which has been in power since the military coup in 2013.

Sisi’s megalomania is reflected in gigantic construction projects, such as the construction of a new capital in the desert, which costs over 50 billion euros. The Egyptian military, which is estimated to own between 50 and 60 percent of Egypt’s land area, makes large profits by owning companies involved in the construction of the capital. Highranking generals own the most important companies in Egypt: from media companies to construction and real estate companies.

At the same time, over a third of Egypt’s population lives below the poverty line. The indebted Egyptian government is borrowing large sums from the International Monetary Fund, forcing it to cut subsidies in return. This causes food prices to skyrocket and poverty to increase even further. 

Next to the horrific economic situation comes the crackdown on all forms of political dissent. Sisi’s military dictatorship is characterized by absolute paranoia and does not allow for any forms of freedom of expression. Any critical voices or opposition figures are imprisoned, like the activist Alaa Abdel Fattah, who, along with thousands of other political prisoners, is subjected to arbitrariness, harassment and torture in prison. As Laila Souif, the mother of Alaa Abdel Fattah says “this is the worst government of all”.

But not only clearly political views can lead to imprisonment in Egypt: women are behind bars because they made Tiktok videos that, according to the court, allegedly violated “family values.”

One central group who has faced the heaviest state persecutions since the military coup d’état are not shown in the ZDF documentary is that of the Muslim Brotherhood. The omission of this key point from a documentary about Egypt since the revolution and since the 2013 military coup against the democratically elected Muslim Brotherhood rule, speaks volumes. The state criminalization of the Muslim Brotherhood would probably not fit with the dominant narrative in Germany or France that portrays the Muslim Brotherhood as terrorists and murderers.

The fact that Germany and France supports the Sisi military dictatorship and supply Egypt with billions of dollars in arms is also not mentioned. Here too, it would probably be difficult to explain to a German or French audience why their respective state support a brutal military dictatorship. The German and French state supports the Egyptian military dictatorship, for example through arms deliveries because this is an important source of profits for German and French capital.

That weapons supplied to Egypt, Saudi Arabia or Israel lead to the murder of innocent people is something that capital is not interested in, lip service by Western leaders about “human rights” or “democracy” serve as a mere facade to cover up their profit-generating deals with dictatorships like Egypt or the settler colony of Israel. The German and French states also supports Sisi’s military dictatorship because he maintains his Zionist policies in the spirit of Western imperialism, for example in upholding the Rafah border between Gaza and Egypt. A pro-Palestinian democratic Egyptian state would mean a destabilization of Israel’s genocidal policies and a threat to Western imperialist interests. To this end, the EU is also making deals with the Egyptian regime to prevent refugees from fleeing to Europe.

Hence any serious report on the brutal Egyptian military dictatorship must pinpoint that it is Western states like Germany and France who are supporting and financing this bloody regime.