Egyptian President Abdel Fatah Al-Sisi slammed journalists who criticised the government’s response to flooding in Alexandria last week when five people were killed.
“I see people do not understand nor have knowledge while they talk in a microphone or write in a newspaper… in this way you make your country lost…You say that everything (state’s sectors and institutions) have catastrophes; does not that sector media have catastrophes as well?” Al-Sisi asked during a speech on Sunday.
“A journalist said that the president was meeting the Siemens chairperson and abandoned Alexandria drowning in rainwater… that is unacceptable. Are you [journalists] torturing me for standing here?”
Al-Sisi called on the media to spread “awareness” among the people.
In a rare incident, Egyptian media outlets criticised Al-Sisi saying he wants to be the highest leader and above all criticism.
Journalist Khaled Abu Bakr said during his Cairo Talk TV show on 25 October: “As long as Al-Sisi meets Siemens chairperson 14 times in a month, no cadres are being prepared.”
Al-Sisi met Siemens CEO Joe Kaeser to discuss the latest developments in the implementation of three natural gas-fired combined power plants.
In November 2014, the editors-in-chief of all the major Egyptian newspapers signed a “loyalty pledge,” promising that they would not criticise state institutions during the “war on terror”.