Sisi regime arrests founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper

Security sources on Tuesday said that authorities have arrested the founder of Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, businessman Salah Diab, as allegedly part of an investigation regarding involvement in financial violations.

16 years ago, Diab embarked on an adventure to establish the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, reviving the journalistic career of his grandfather Tawfiq Diab who was a pioneer in the history of Egyptian journalism, having founded various newspapers between the 1920s and 1930s.

Salah Diab and his co-founders aimed to carry out a social, educational service through a new independent daily newspaper.

What is behind Diab’s arrest?

However, activists on social networking sites reconnected the businessman Salah Diab, who was arrested yesterday, September 1, 2020, and Lt. General Ahmed Shafiq after his retrial a few days ago, and the last meeting of Sisi, in which he appeared nervous while attacking the Egyptian people.

Journalist Samir Al-Aarki said: “Today, a news story that businessman Salah Diab has been arrested for charges related to financial violations .. and a few days ago a news story about retrial of Lt. General Ahmed Shafiq in corruption cases although he had been acquitted before. Put these two news stories with Sisi’s latest convulsive talk about deploying the army forces in villages allegedly to remove the building violations .. Is there a relationship between all these events?

Many tried throughout the day to answer this question: Journalist Selim Azouz said, “One-line news: Salah Diab was arrested for interrogation on financial charges .. When Diab, owner of Al-Masry Al-Youm, was arrested in the first case, I wrote that they would not leave him unless he gives up the newspaper. I expect that they will be prompted to release him, but they will repeat the attempt to pressure him.

Politician Ayman Nour, head of Ghad al-Thawra Party, said, “The arrest of Salah-Diab indicates that there is tension between Egypt and UAE due to their competition after the latter’s normalization with Israel .. When Diab had previously been arrested, he was immediately released after a call from UAE’s Ambassador to Washington Yousef Al-Otaiba to Al-Sisi. In this regard, it is possible to interpret the retrial of Ahmed_Shafiq, contrary to an agreement at the time with the UAE after his extradition, reactivation of charges against Mubarak’s sons, and the Jordan meeting.

Activist Ahmed Samih on Tuesday evening wrote a post on his Facebook account, saying, “Salah Diab invited Ahmed Shafiq to dinner, and they engaged in a friendly and humane conversation together, including talk about some political issues. The whole dinner meeting was audio-video recorded without their previous knowledge of this, and their conversation angered Abdel Al-Fattah Al-Sisi and the ruling court men.

In another leak, activist Manal Abdelaal said, commenting on “Ahmed Sameh”’s post: “Major General Tariq Nasr, head of Giza Security Directorate, told Al-Masry Al-Youm that he had no information regarding the arrest of Salah Diab, confirming that the decision to arrest him was outside the Giza directorate, while Brigadier General Abdel-Wahab Al-Shaarawi, head of the South Giza sector, said that the southern sector and the Abu al-Numros investigations had not issued any decisions regarding Diab or participated in the process of arresting him!

Since January 2015, there has been talk of deep-rooted relations between Salah Diab and Ahmed Shafiq and accusations to the Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, owned by Diab, that it was conspiring against Egypt when it published Shafiq’s request to meet Sisi.

The newspaper, according to some sources, in December 2017, published a report about Shafiq when he spoke to Al Jazeera from Dubai in the hope of participating in the 2018 presidential election.

Therefore, Abbas Kamel’s intelligence services wanted to take revenge and threaten Shafiq, Al-Masry Al-Youm, and Salah Diab, altogether.

In order to settle such accounts, activists said that Sisi ordered the arrest of businessman Salah Diab on Tuesday, while some sources related to the Interior Ministry said that Diab was arrested for investigations on financial charges.

Journalist Abdel Fattah Fayed, the former director of the Al-Jazeera office in Cairo, said, “It is certain that most businessmen in Egypt have violations, but it is not certain that it is the real reason for Diab’s arrest.”