The general prosecutor referred a report filed against state TV anchor Azza Al-Henawy to the Supreme State Security Prosecution on Thursday.
A critic of the current government, Al-Henawy criticised President Al-Sisi earlier this week during an episode of her television show with journalist Osama Shehata. In the last two minutes, Al-Henawy directly addressed Al-Sisi, criticising his performance since he had assumed the presidential office.
Following the broadcast, she came under fire from fellow TV anchors and celebrities. Two reports were filed to the General Prosecutor accusing her of incitement.
Lawyer Samir Sabry filed the first report—which has since been referred to the Supreme State Security Prosecution—accusing Al-Henawy of insulting President Al-Sisi and inciting insurrection. Further, Sabry accused Al-Henawy of conspiring with international parties as evinced by the foreign agenda of her television programme.
In the second report, lawyer Ashraf Farahat accused Al-Henawy of insulting the presidency. His report included alleged posts from Al-Henawy’s personal Facebook account which he clamed supported his claim. Farahat called for the government to ban Al-Henaway from travel pending completion of the investigation.
Chairman of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU) Board of Trustees Essam Al-Amir announced the formation of a committee to investigate the allegations.
In the episode that initiated the controversy, Al-Henawy is reported as saying: “You [Al-Sisi] have not solved anything since you began ruling Egypt; you promised that within two years we would see a new Egypt, and one year and eight months have passed without any improvements. Only a few months are left and we are waiting.”
She continued her criticism, saying the president calls on people to work to help him, while he is not working towards any changes, claiming that he is ”all talk and no action”.
Al-Henawy has been dismissed from posts within state-media several times by different regimes for her critical comments against the government. On the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, Al-Henawy was banned from presenting her weekly Sunday episode.
In November 2015, Al-Henawy was suspended from Al-Qahera Channel due to her criticism of the official response to the flooding in Alexandria.
The anchor was also suspended during the rule of former president Mohamed Morsi and faced continuous backlash due to her statements at that time.