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One on One: Egypt's Sisi has destroyed civil society | Episode 3

The space for Egyptian civil society has deteriorated to new lows under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, with the situation far worse than it ever was under longtime autocrat Hosni Mubarak.

Speaking to David Hearst, the co-founder and editor-in-chief of Middle East Eye, Hamalawy said Sisi had "destroyed civil society."

"In the past, if there were abuses and violations happening in Palestine and there was mounting anger in the streets, the government could use and depend on the Muslim Brotherhood to diffuse this anger by limited protests that will be confined to the university campuses and the mosques - which would chant slogans against America and Israel but not against Mubarak," he said.

"If Labour strikes broke out, even if we didn't have a vibrant independent union federation, the government could depend on the left wing Tagamu party which had a presence in the workplace. Or the state-backed General Federation of Trade Union to diffuse the militancy in the workflow and try to reach a compromise with the strikers so as not to let things spill over," he said.

"Now, Sisi has demolished and destroyed all of these institutions.

"There are no political parties, no youth groups, no independent union networks. Many of the parties that still exist only do so on paper and have lost their clout and presence on the streets."
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