Anti-Sisi hashtags go viral on Twitter after corruption accusations
The Arabic hashtag #That’s_enough_Sisi has been used 203,000 times in the 24 hours between Sunday and Monday according to the social media analytics tool Spredfast.
In a series of videos, Aly said that Egyptian authorities had misappropriated millions of dollars in public funds, asking him to build a luxurious guest house for Sisi in the coastal city of Alexandria and a palace for the autocratic president in Cairo.
Aly, who is 45 years old, has fled Egypt for Spain, claiming that Egyptian authorities have not paid him for construction projects he carried out and now owe him hundreds of millions of dollars. In addition to being a property tycoon, he is also a film star.
The videos he has released, on an almost daily basis, contain explosive claims about Sisi.
In one video, Aly pointed out the contrast between Sisi’s building of palaces and the poverty suffered by ordinary Egyptians.
“You say the Egyptian people are very poor and that we should tighten our belts. But you are throwing away billions and your men are wasting millions”.
Egyptian authorities say that the country’s poverty rate has risen from 25.2 percent in 2011 to 32.5 percent in July 2019.
The Egyptian president responded to Aly on Saturday with a televised appearance at a youth summit.
He did not directly address the claims but said that they were “lies and slander”.
Sisi also defended the building of presidential palaces. “Are they for me? I am building a new state. Do you think when you speak falsehood I will be frightened? No, I will keep building and building, but not for myself,” he said.
Sisi’s remarks don’t appear to have made much of an impression on Twitter users, who used the viral hashtag to attack him for corruption.
One Twitter user warned, “we did it once. We can do it again”, in reference to the 2011 Egyptian revolution that overthrew long-time dictator Hosni Mubarak. Other tweets expressed similar sentiments
In his talk on Saturday Sisi said, "What happened in 2011 was extremely dangerous, but it would be more dangerous if you try to repeat it".
Sisi’s regime has also been criticised for its human rights record. Thousands of government opponents languish in Egyptian jails, where torture and ill-treatment are widespread.
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