News / Middle East

Egypt's State-Run TV Aims to Discredit Anti-Government Protesters

Protesters chant anti-government slogans during mass demonstrations against Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, in Alexandria, Egypt, February 4, 2011
Protesters chant anti-government slogans during mass demonstrations against Egypt's President Hosni Mubarak, in Alexandria, Egypt, February 4, 2011
Mohamed Elshinnawi

State-run television stations in Egypt are repeatedly airing an interview with a young Egyptian, who says those who sparked the uprising on January 25 were trained by Israelis in the Unites States. Freedom House, a U.S. independent organization devoted to expanding freedom around the world, denied the allegations that training Egyptians on democratization has anything to do with an anti-government uprising.

A young woman identifying herself as Shaimaa claims that Freedom House, a U.S.-based freedom and democracy advocacy group, trained her to instigate young Egyptians to launch protests aimed at destabilizing the Egyptian government.

She says Freedom House also trained members of Egypt's banned opposition movement, the Muslim Brotherhood, Internet-savvy youth and other opponents of the government.

She alleges the Freedom House training was conducted by Israeli instructors.

David Kramer is the Executive Director of Freedom House. He said Shaimaa's name does not appear in any training program for democracy promotion, and Freedom House training is on democracy promotion not overthrowing governments.

"Training is not to help people overthrow regimes," said Kramer. "Training is done to support civil society awareness and activities, and to help those who are pushing for respect for human rights and greater democracy in a country, whether in Egypt or anywhere else."

Kramer said that while there is no foundation for the Egyptian TV claims, which were not substantiated by any evidence, supporters of the Mubarak government are looking for a scapegoat, trying to point fingers at foreign organizations, instead of understanding the reality behind the popular uprising.

"This is a result of growing resentment, frustration among the Egyptian people with their government, and they decided to go out in the streets and express that in the clearest ways possible, and they are not being sponsored or supported by outside forces," said Kramer. "This is completely indigenous, this is 100 percent Egyptian, and the Mubarak regime, I would hope, would draw the right lesson from."

Emad Mekay is a Cairo-based reporter for Inter Press (News) Service. He said Egyptian media are trying to blame the current turmoil in the country on foreign agents.

"I’m afraid it is working. I went out the next morning and interviewed six people in a barber shop. Five of them said, yes, there must be a foreign hand behind what is happening, otherwise how would you explain the sabotage and all the destruction that is happening in Egypt right now? I have to say that these people were mostly uneducated, lower class, in terms of their financial position, who actually bought that kind of propaganda," said Mekay.

He said there is clear coordination between the state-run TV and some private TV stations owned by pro-Mubarak businessmen in a campaign to discredit the peaceful uprising.

NEW: Follow our Middle East stories on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Could Nemtsov Threaten Putin in Death as in Life?

Dynamic and debonair opposition leader had supported liberal economic reforms, criticized Russian president's aggression in Ukraine More

Oil Smuggling Highlights Challenges in Shutting Down IS Finances

Pentagon spokesman says Islamic State 'certainly continues to get revenue from the oil industry black market' but that airstrikes have made a dent More

India Focuses on Infrastructure, Investment to Propel Economy

Government expects economy to grow at 8 to 8.5 percent in next fiscal year More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Casei
X
Katherine Gypson
February 25, 2015 11:30 PM
The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video US Supreme Court Hears Hijab Discrimination Case

The U.S. Supreme Court has heard opening arguments in a workplace religious discrimination case that examines whether a clothing store can refuse to hire a young woman for wearing the headscarf she says is a symbol of her Muslim faith. Katherine Gypson reports from the Supreme Court.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Hurt Nascent Illinois Hydraulic Fracturing Industry

Falling oil prices are helping consumers purchase cheaper petroleum at the pump. But that’s made hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” less economically viable for the companies in the United States invested in the process. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports on one Midwestern town that was hoping to change its fortunes by cashing in on the next big U.S. oil boom.
Video

Video Fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan Fuels Mass Displacement

Heavy fighting in Sudan's South Kordofan state is causing hundreds of thousands to flee into uncertain conditions. Local aid organizations estimate as many as 400,000 civilians have been internally displaced since the conflict began more than three years ago, while another 250,000 have fled across the border to refugee camps in South Sudan. VOA's Adam Bailes reports.
Video

Video Lao Dam Project Runs Into Opposition

A Lao dam project on a section of the Mekong River is drawing opposition from local fishermen, international environmental groups and neighboring countries. VOA's Say Mony visited the region to investigate the concerns. Colin Lovett narrates.
Video

Video A Filmmaker Discovers Her Biracial Identity in "Little White Lie

Lacey Schwartz grew up in an upper middle-class Jewish family, in a town in upstate New York where almost everyone she knew was white. She assumed that she was, as well. Her recent documentary, Little White Lie, tells the story of how she uncovered the secret of her true racial background. VOA’s Carolyn Weaver has more on the film.
Video

Video Deep Under Antarctic Ice Sheet, Life!

With the end of summer in the Southern hemisphere, the Antarctic research season is over. Scientists from Northern Illinois University are back in their laboratory after a 3-month expedition on the Ross Ice Shelf, the world’s largest floating ice sheet. As VOA’s Rosanne Skirble reports, they hope to find clues to explain the dynamics of the rapidly melting ice and its impact on sea level rise.
Video

Video US-Cuba Normalization Talks Resume Friday

Negotiations aimed at normalizing diplomatic relations between the U.S. and Cuba resume Friday. On the table: lifting a half-century trade embargo and easing banking and travel restrictions. There's opposition in Congress, but some analysts say there may be sufficient political and economic incentives in both nations for a potential breakthrough this year. VOA's Mil Arcega reports.
Video

Video Pakistan's Deadline For SIM Registration Has Cellphone Users Scrambling

Pakistani cell phone users have until midnight Thursday to register their SIM cards, or their service will be cut off. While some privacy experts worry about government intrusion, many Pakistanis are just worried about keeping their phone lines open. VOA Deewa reporter Arshad Muhmand has more from Peshawar.
Video

Video Myanmar Warns Factory Workers to End Strikes

Outside Myanmar's main city Yangon, thousands of workers walked off their jobs earlier this month demanding a doubling of their wages, pay raises after a year and input from labor unions on industrial regulations. Since Friday, the standoff has grown more tense as police moved in to disrupt the sit-ins, resulting in clashes that injured people from both sides. VOA correspondent Steve Herman visited industrial zones which have become a focus of Myanmar's fledgling workers rights movement.
Video

Video Oscar Winners Do More Than Thank the Academy

The Academy Awards presentation is Hollywood’s night to reward the best movies from the previous year. It’s typically a lot of glitter, a lot of thank you’s, a lot of speeches. But many of this year’s speeches carried messages beyond the thank you's. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti takes a look.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More