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Cairo’s Iron Fist Response to Criticism

Egyptian authorities have ramped up efforts to silence government criticism, issuing orders in recent weeks to restrict media coverage and detain journalists, despite international pressure that’s attracted new attention after a journalist arrested in June died of COVID-19. Hundreds of journalists, activists, critics, and their relatives have been arbitrarily detained in Egypt since protests in September that called for President Abdel Fattah el-Sissi to step down, according to groups including Amnesty International. The country’s Supreme Council for Media Regulation last month banned coverage of sensitive political, economic and health issues, including interviews with medical experts about the coronavirus, military operations in Sinai and a dam project in Ethiopia. Media are to use only official government statements.