POMED’s Amy Hawthorne Quoted in Foreign Policy

On September 28, 2017, POMED’s deputy director for research Amy Hawthorne talked with Rhys Dubin of Foreign Policy about Egypt’s ongoing clampdown on dissent:

On Monday, an Egyptian court also sentenced Khaled Ali — a lawyer who gained notoriety last year for challenging the Egyptian government’s bid to hand over control of two strategic Red Sea islands to Saudi Arabia — to three months in prison. Although Ali won the Saudi case last January, the government eventually ratified the transfer of the islands.

While the sentence is relatively light, the charge was likely an attempt to cripple Ali’s potential run for the presidency in 2018, according to Amy Hawthorne, former Egypt Coordinator at the State Department and current deputy director for research at the Project on Middle East Democracy.

“Some inside the regime see him as somebody who could mobilize public opinion, who has a public profile,” she told Foreign Policy. “They want to make a move that would disqualify him from running.” Candidates for president are subject to disqualification for a wide variety of reasons, including conviction for a “crime of untrustworthiness.”

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“There is a lot of very well-grounded fear that the government will use such a law as a way of really stamping out the last little breaths of dissent and opposition,” Hawthorne said.

Read the full article here.