FILE - Hisham Abdullah protests in Al-Tahrir square
CAIRO – 16 August 2018: Turkish authorities arrested Al-Sharq TV host Hisham Abdullah on the account of overstaying his visa and being placed by the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) on the terror list, sources said.
The sources revealed that police stopped Abdullah in the district where he lives, and that Ayman Nour, Al-Sharq channel owner, did not offer Abdullah any actual support.
The sources also revealed that a number of Muslim Brotherhood supporters mediated and asked the Turkish authorities to release Abdullah, according to media reports, amid expectations that Abdullah may face deportation.
Who is Abdullah?
Abdullah is an Egyptian actor who appeared in many films and drama series, including “Al-Tareeq ela Eilat” (Way to Eilat), and “Layaly Al-Helmiya” (Helmiya nights). He participated in the January 25 revolution in 2011 against ousted President Hosni Mubarak, and also in the June 30, 2013 revolution against the Muslim Brotherhood group.
However, he moved to Turkey to work in Al-Sharq channel that was launched in 2014. Abdullah appears in his TV program on Al-Sharq, attacking Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s policies.
Few days before the Egyptian presidential election in March, Egyptian opposition activist, Ramy Jan, returned from Turkey. He accused the Muslim Brotherhood of committing violations against him.
"I thought I was fighting with the oppressed side, I wanted to... ascertain the extent of the Brotherhood's grievance," he said. "But after a long journey from 2012 until 2018, and after dealing directly with them, I realized that these people only have hatred for Egypt.”
Al-Sharq and Mekameleen channels are Turkey-based institutions known for extremely opposing the Egyptian government. Staffs of the two channels are dedicated to report incidents against the state and analyze them in a way that distorts the image of the Egyptian leadership. Moreover, they influence people to speak against the state.
In an interview with Egypt Today, Mohamed Mohsen, an Egyptian citizen said: “I was interviewed by a correspondent for an anonymous channel in one of Giza’s streets in 2016. The correspondent did not reveal to me the channel’s identity which I think is very unethical.”
He added, “He asked me about the shortage in medicines at this time and how the government failed to carry out its duty. He influenced me to criticize the government. Few days later, a friend of mine told me that I appeared on Mekameleen channel.”
In a telephone interview in June with the Pro-Muslim Brotherhood “terrorist” organization's TV channel, George Ishak, member of the National Council for Human Rights (NCHR), said that the police forces killed a number of secretly abducted people in Arish city, without presenting any detailed evidence of the incident.
In July, Ishak justified his statements by saying that he did not know he was speaking to a channel hostile to Egypt. He also said that the channel twisted his statement, adding that the Arish case that he had described as enforced disappearance was later revealed to be of a terrorist who was eliminated by security forces.
Additional reporting by Egypt Today Staff Some names and identifying details have been changed upon sources' request