Press communiqué - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
ECCD fears for the life and safety of journalist Abdel Nasser Salama after Egyptian authorities detained him following his publication of a FB post demanding that Abdel Fattah El Sisi step down. ECCD is calling for the immediate and unconditional release of Mr. Salama.
Ottawa - July 21 2021- Abdel Nasser Salama, the former editor-in-chief of Egypt's leading state-owned newspaper Al-Ahram was arrested in his home in the city of Alexandria, Egypt on Sunday and jailed for 15 days pending investigations over alleged charges of "financing terrorism", spreading false news on social media and undermining state agencies and institutions.
Egypt's public prosecution issued the order to imprison Mr. Salama after the latter posted an opinion piece on Facebook early last week calling on President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to resign over, among other charges, his role in the "heavy defeat" related to Ethiopia's Renaissance Dam. The FB account has been taken off line. An English translation appears below.
The news of Mr. Salama's detention is particularly worrisome because of the documented lack of due process of the Egyptian judicial system. Moreover lately, declassified documents in the investigation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi led to questions about the involvement of the Egyptian authorities. https://news.yahoo.com/egyptian-intelligence-chief-to-face-questioning-over-alleged-involvement-in-khashoggi-killing-221455670.html
ECCD is thus adding its voice to the Committee to Protect Journalists as well as individual journalists to demand the immediate and unconditional release of Abdel Nasser Salama. https://cpj.org/2021/07/egyptian-authorities-detain-journalist-abdel-naser-salama-on-terrorism-and-false-news-charges/
About ECCD: The Egyptian Canadian Coalition for Democracy (ECCD) is a politically independent, non-affiliated pan Canadian organization that advocates for democracy and human rights in Egypt. The ECCD has representatives in Ottawa, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary, Edmonton, and Vancouver.
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Translation of Abdel Nasser Salama FB post (by ECCD)
Do it, Mr. President
Why does President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi not have the moral and ethical courage to declare his direct responsibility for the heavy defeat against Ethiopia, and for wasting Egypt's historic right to the waters of the Nile, when he granted legitimacy to the Dam, the cause of the crisis, when he signed the disastrous 2015 agreement (and he was aware of the consequences of what he was doing), then when he gave again, legitimacy to the Dam by resorting to the UN Security Council without adequate preparation.
Even before that when he overlooked at the very beginning the construction (of the Dam), and subsequently when he was unable to take a military decision to bring the conspiring Ethiopian leadership to their senses. Also, when he failed to rally international support for a just cause, despite spending billions of dollars buying arms and other things from influential countries.
Honesty and courage require the president to come out to the people with the announcement of his abdication from power and present himself to a fair trial for all what his hands committed, from ceding the Red Sea islands, the Mediterranean gas fields, the Nile waters,
and wasting Egypt's wealth on useless armaments, and tying the country down with exorbitant debts that it will never be able to repay,
and spreading a state of terror and fear among Egyptians by threatening them to deploy the army (against them) within 6 hours,
and dividing the society according to creed, function, and status by creating an unprecedented situation of polarization,
and imprisoning and arresting tens of thousands with or without justification,
and turning the Sinai into a cemetery for our soldiers and officers as a result of an extremely bad managed crisis that could have been avoided; not to mention dozens of other charges that will be revealed in due course.
I wish Mr. President that you were being convinced early enough of the painful truth revealed by the Security Council session, which is that there is no support for you in the world, and this has never happened to Egypt throughout both its ancient and modern history, and the reasons are well known to you.
Do it and step aside, Mr. President, in order to save Egypt, if you are really Egyptian. This will be the only good deed that the world will remember you for and would erase from their memory (of the world) the accusation of the coup that troubles you and that was the cause of most of the foreign concessions.
Do it so that the armed forces could have the freedom to act before it is too late. They will find unprecedented support from all strata of people if they (the armed forces) do what is necessary, bearing in mind that there is no legitimacy for anyone who did not defend the Nile.
It suffices that the Egyptian nation witnessed, as the whole world witnessed, that the President of Egypt was riding an aerial bicycle, for a promenade in the new city of El Alamein at a time when the Security Council was discussing an existential issue for Egypt. (Hence you showed) great disregard for the people, who were watching the events live on television screens, feeling anger and sadness over the fate of their children and offspring, who would be dealing with sewage waste in food and drink, and even ablution.
We will rule out the theory of conspiracy, betrayal, or being a proxy, and everything that is currently heard on the Street, we only hope that you can prove that the issue was just a miscalculation resulting from the one person's rule and taking individual decisions, then there will be no maximum punishment, although I personally doubt it.
Do it and step aside at once without wasting any more time, if not for Egypt, then for you, I repeat: for your sake, because in all the dictatorships that the world has gone through, cheating and deception have never held for ever, they eventually erode little by little, even if they lasted for a long time, with the prop of failed battalions and electronic committees, and the domination of a miserable media.