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Egyptians defend minister's calls to cut throats of dissidents

Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram [Dotmsr Live/YouTube]
Egyptian Minister of Immigration and Expatriate Affairs Nabila Makram [Dotmsr Live/YouTube]

Pro-regime Egyptians have united under the Arabic hashtag "Nabila Makram represents me," in response to international criticism of the immigration minister's threat to cut off the heads of Egyptian dissidents abroad.

In a speech to Egyptian expats in Toronto captured on video earlier this week Makram asked: "Anyone who says anything about our country, what happens to them?"

"We cut," she continued, running her hand across her throat.

Amid a climate of severe political repression amongst the Egyptian community Makram's words drew sharp criticism on social media.

"This minister's sinister words are a testament to the Egyptian government's alarming record of disappearing, imprisoning, and executing dissidents," said Amr Magdi, Egypt researcher for Human Rights Watch, on Twitter.

The Arab Organisation for Human Rights has said that as many as 3,185 civilians have been extrajudicially killed by Egyptian security forces since 3 July 2013.

WATCH: Egypt immigration minister: Criticise Egypt, lose your head

Makram's comments come less than one year after journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for speaking out against the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.

Observers are calling for her dismissal and an independent investigation.

As the story, and criticism, swelled, Makram defended herself: "The Egyptian state does not threaten its children, but it communicates with them, supports them and meet their needs."

"Cutting the neck is a word in the Egyptian vernacular and means the intensity of anger of those who do it."

Her supporters have gone one step further on Twitter, saying that she is protecting the "sons of martyrs" against "terrorists".

A.Abbass said: "Yes we will cut off the heads of anyone who offends Egypt, from terrorists to collaborators to traitors … we will not go easy on them, Egypt first and foremost."

Responding to calls for Makram to be forced out of her post and investigated, Twitter user Neveen wrote: "This minister is Egyptian and represents Egyptian women and men when we see dogs like you."

Others said that those who attack the minister are not patriotic. A.Abbass wrote: "She represents me and she represents all Egyptians who are honourable patriots. Yes everyone who is going to offend Egypt and wage terrorist and destructive attacks against us, we will cut of their heads."

While Fahd Al-Fahd wrote: "Nabila is a patriot and the people gave her a mandate to destroy traitors."

Another declared support for President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi:

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