Video Duration 25 minutes 00 seconds
From: Inside Story

Egypt and the Thought Police

Brief detention of prominent French-Egyptian journalist raises questions about political freedom under new president.

The journalist Alain Gresh says he was detained by police in Cairo on Tuesday after a woman in a cafe overheard him talking about politics and denounced him.

Gresh says police questioned him and two other journalists in the street outside the cafe for an hour and a half.

And previously, on Sunday, a student was arrested at Cairo University. The police said it was because he was filming without permission, but initial reports suggested it was because he was carrying a copy of George Orwell’s novel 1984.

People in the Twitter-sphere jumped on what they saw as a connection, and #Orwell started trending, with critics comparing modern-day Egypt to the dystopian world created by the British novelist in 1984.

And, of course, Al Jazeera’s journalists remain in prison in Egypt on false charges. Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed have now been detained in Egypt for more than 300 days.

So, what kind of society is being created in Egypt under the leadership of Abdel Fattah el-Sisi?

Presenter: Jane Dutton


Alain Gresh, editor of France-based publication Le Monde Diplomatique.

Yehia Ghanem, Egyptian journalist and fellow at the City University in New York in the US.