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Egypt: Sisi orders metro station be named after Safaa Hegazy because she broadcast coup statement

A train drives from one station to another in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on May 28, 2018. - [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]
A train drives from one station to another in the Egyptian capital, Cairo, on May 28, 2018. - [KHALED DESOUKI/AFP via Getty Images]

The deputy editor-in-chief of the state-run Al-Ahram has announced that President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave the order to name a metro station in Cairo after Safaa Hegazy because she authorised the broadcast of his statement overthrowing Mohamed Morsi on state TV.

Last week there was outrage after Egypt’s minister of transport announced that Zamalek metro station would be named after the former president of the Radio and Television Union, Safaa Hegazy, who was at the helm during Mohamed Morsi’s ouster.

Hegazy authorised the coup statement to be broadcast, despite concern from others about the Muslim Brotherhood’s reaction, particularly as at the time Salah Abdel-Maksoud, a member of the MB, was minister of information and in theory controlled the Maspero television building.

Hegazy signed a statement claiming full responsibility for broadcasting the statement, which also suspended the constitution and announced the installation of the interim government.

READ: Egypt activists blame Sisi for failure in dam negotiations

According to the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of Al-Ahram, Safwat Abdel-Azim, as reported by RTmany people tried to dissuade her from broadcasting it, “but she broadcast the statement with great courage, even though the Brotherhood was in every inch of Maspero.”

It is the first time a metro station in Egypt has been named after a woman, sparking criticism online. The area in which the metro is located was home to prominent Egyptian females, including the singer Umm Kulthum, the actress Soad Hosny and film producer Faten Hamama.

Safaa, who died in 2017, was appointed head of Egypt TV news in September 2013, the first woman in this position since 1960.

Her husband was chief of the president’s staff of the late Hosni Mubarak. Zakaria Azmi was sentenced to seven years imprisonment for corruption in 2012 before Al-Sisi acquitted him in 2019.

In 2015 it was announced that Rabaa Al-Adawiya Square was to be renamed after Egypt’s prosecutor general who was assassinated in June of that year.

Hisham Barakat authorised the Egyptian army to enter Rabaa square in 2013 where they proceeded to massacre hundreds of pro-democracy supporters.

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