Egyptian TV channel Tahrir TV has announced that Qatar should pay Egypt $100 billion for compensation for damages caused to the North African state over the past six years as a result of their funding for terror.
The broadcast comes at a time when Egypt, along with Saudi Arabia, the UAE and Bahrain, have suspended diplomatic relations and cut off land, sea and air travel to Qatar over what they claim are the Gulf State’s ties to terrorism.
The quartet originally issued 13 demands for the country, including shutting down Al Jazeera, before releasing a fresh set of demands yesterday in view of Qatar’s perceived failure to reform.
Addressing the audience, Egyptian TV presenter Nashaat Eldeehy says that the request is part of a campaign launched by the channel and calls on other members of the media to embrace the initiative.
He then announces an extraordinary request for the Emir of Qatar:
The Egyptians will only be satisfied when they see the shrouds of the Emir of Qatar. He should come crawling on his knees, carrying his shrouds in his hands, and beg the Egyptian people for their absolution and forgiveness.
The broadcast is proof of just how much of a mouthpiece for the Egyptian government state TV has become. In June 2017 64 news sites that do not toe the government’s official line were blocked by order of President Abdul Fattah Al-Sisi.
State television is just one avenue Egyptian authorities are using to blame Qatar for terrorism. In an interview with CNN released today, Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry blamed Qatar for “human suffering” in Syria and Libya. Qatar’s support for radical organisations there has encouraged violence against minorities in Egypt and terrorism in Europe, claimed Shoukry.
Shoukry blamed Qatar for the terrorist attack in Egypt on Palm Sunday when twin bomb attacks hit two churches and killed at least 44 Coptic Christians.
Human rights advocates have pointed out that Al-Sisi and his government used the attacks to further consolidate their rule, implementing a state of emergency in the country in its aftermath which has since been extended.