Is Egypt’s Iron Lady out to get me?

I had the following published just now about what I think is really motivating the charges against me. Some will be surprised to read, I don’t think it is all about #SCAF

Foreign Journos Aren’t The Real Target In Egypt

By Austin Mackell


Misperceptions abound about why foreign journos get arrested in Egypt. As he awaits the outcome of charges against him in Cairo, Austin Mackell considers the forces behind his arrest

As many New Matilda readers will know, a little over a month ago, I — along with Aliya Alwi, an Egyptian translator and news producer and Derek Ludovici, an American masters student — was arrested in a city called Mahalla El Kubra about two hours drive north of Cairo, where we had travelled to interview trade union leader Kamal el-Fayoumi. The three of us were held for around 56 hours, during which time we were charged with inciting people to commit vandalism. Specifically, it is alleged we promised to give children money if they threw rocks at a police station.

A network quickly sprang up to support us. So far this support has included an open letter — which you can sign here if you haven’t already — calling on the Australian government to act on my behalf, and a rally held last Sunday outside the offices of the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

Having these supporters is a great comfort and they will be an important factor in determining how the charges against me are resolved. However, I’ve noticed two common misconceptions in coverage of my situation. My hope is that by addressing these I can also present a clearer picture of the rapidly evolving situation here in Egypt.

Misconception 1: I  along with other journalists  am the target…

Read the rest here


About Austin G. Mackell

I am a freelance journalist who has worked for a variety of corporate and community outlets from my hometown of Sydney and from the Middle East, including from Lebanon during Israels 2006 invasion and from Iran during the tumultuous presidential elections there in 2009. I have recently moved to Cairo to watch the revolutions in Arab world unfold.
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