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July 1, 2021 at 1.00pm – 2.30pm

Online Teach-in

Sisi’s Many Jails — From Gaza to Tora

Join a panel of experts for a discussion of el-Sisi's role in repressing human rights in Egypt and Palestine.

Online Teach-in


Thursday, July 1st, 1:00 PM ET / 6:00 PM BST

Trump’s reference to Egyptian leader Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as his “favorite dictator” revealed the former US president’s penchant for lawlessness and authoritarian rule. But the Biden administration continues to provide carte blanche for Sisi’s widespread repression and human rights abuses, based on the premise that Egypt plays an important role in enforcing US policies for the region, in particular as a mediator between Palestinians and Israel. This Realpolitik logic of unconditional support for tyrants is shortsighted. The Sisi regime is currently imprisoning an estimated 60,000 political prisoners while it also plays a central role in maintaining the longstanding blockade of Gaza and jails Palestine solidarity activists in Egypt.

This forum will address the state of human rights in Egypt, Sisi’s role in besieging Palestinians (in collusion with Israel and the Palestinian Authority), how US policy fuels repression in Egypt and Egypt’s nefarious role in Israel-Palestine, and what progressives can do to improve human rights conditions for Egyptians and Palestinians.

***Register through Eventbrite to receive a link to the video conference on the day of the event. This event will also be recorded and have live captioning.***



Sharif Abdel Kouddous, an independent multimedia journalist, served for eight years as a senior producer, co-host, and correspondent for the independent TV/radio news hour Democracy Now! and he remains a frequent contributor to the program. He has written for The Nation, Foreign Policy, The Progressive, Al-Ahram Weekly, and Al-Masry Al Youm, and has appeared on MSNBC and Al Jazeera English. He was the 2012 recipient of the Izzy Award, named for muckraking journalism I.F. Stone.

Yasmin Omar, a human rights lawyer, is Egypt Legal Associate at the Tahrir Institute for Middle East Policy (TIMEP). She has been a practicing human rights lawyer for the last nine years. She has worked with several NGOs in Egypt and is a member of the Front of Defense for Egyptian Protesters. She holds an L.L.M. from Syracuse University with a focus on counter-terrorism, national security, and refugee and asylum law.

Omar Shakir, Israel and Palestine Director at Human Rights Watch, investigates human rights abuses in Israel, the West Bank, and Gaza. Prior to his current role, he was a Bertha Fellow at the Center for Constitutional Rights, where he focused on US counterterrorism policies, including legal representation of Guantanamo detainees. As the 2013-14 Arthur R. and Barbara D. Finberg Fellow at Human Rights Watch, he investigated human rights violations in Egypt, including the Rab’a massacre, one of the largest killings of protesters in a single day.

Ted Swedenburg (moderator) is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Arkansas. He is the author of Memories of Revolt: The 1936-39 Rebellion and the Palestinian National Past and co-editor of Palestine, Israel and the Politics of Popular Culture and Displacement, Diaspora and Geographies of Identity.


This event is co-sponsored by the Middle East Research & Information Project (MERIP), US Committee to End Political Repression in EgyptDemocracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), Internationalism from Below, and Haymarket Books. While all of our events are freely available, we ask that those who are able make a solidarity donation in support of our important publishing and programming work.