Egyptian security forces have raided the homes of the family members of a prominent TV anchor and forcibly disappeared his brother after he broadcast a report critical of the family of Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi.Haitham Abu Khalil, an anchor with the Turkey-based satellite television channel El-Sharq, published a report earlier this week on corruption and nepotism within the Sisi family.
A day later, Wednesday, security forces entered the home of Abu Khalil’s mother Fatima Zaghloul, the 76-year-old granddaughter of former Prime Minister Saad Zaghloul, threatened her and stole valuables from her house.
According to a post Abu Khalil published on Facebook, security forces broke the door of his mother’s apartment, stole money, mobile phones, ID cards and passports.
They also went to his sister’s house then stormed the private clinic of his brother Amr, who is a psychiatrist and have forcibly disappeared him until now.
They then went to Amr’s house and stole two laptops and his children’s passports and their national ID cards.
Egypt has a history of punishing the families of journalists who speak out against the regime. In September last year security forces set fire to the house of TV presenter Hossam El-Shorbagy in Arish, North Sinai. El-Shorbagy works for Mekameleen, a channel based in the Turkish capital Istanbul which is critical of the Sisi regime.
At the time El-Shorbagy told MEMO that security forces swore at his 60-year-old mother and pushed her against a wall when she tried to stop them searching through her belongings.
Egypt also has a history of punishing entire families to get to one member, as we have seen with the detention of Aisha Al-Shater, the daughter of top Brotherhood leader Khairat Al-Shater, and Ola Al-Qaradawi, the granddaughter of Islamic scholar Yusuf Al-Qaradawi, both of whom are being held in solitary confinement.
Sanaa Abdelgawad lives in Turkey following the death of her daughter Asmaa Beltagi who was shot during the Rabaa massacre. Her husband, Secretary General of the Muslim Brotherhood Mohamed Beltagi, is in prison along with one of her sons.
Sanaa’s story is the example of how one family has been completely devastated by one regime.
The security crackdown has tightened over the past two weeks as Egyptians respond to the call of exiled, former army contractor Mohamed Ali who confirmed in a series of viral videos that corruption was deeply embedded in the military, the government and among the family of President al-Sisi.
In response to the threat to its rule Egyptian authorities have arrested 2,661 people including activists, journalists, lawyers and former detainees, according to the latest figures published by the Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights.