The media usually attacks everyone, save for a few who are immune. And the Interior Ministry still keeps records that it uses when it sees fit, letting some get away with their crimes, while others only get a slap on the wrist.
Tawfiq Okasha, the talk show host, was supported by the government for years, making of him the champion of the June 30 revolution. He was even assigned bodyguards to protect him from the Brotherhood. He was at one point in time considered the defender of national security and the strategic interpreter of events taking place in the region. He was left to incite and even to charge with treason any and everyone with no regard whatsoever to the ethics of his profession.
But Okasha was arrested when he criticized the Interior Minister, despite the fact that others had criticized the ministry's senior officials before and had gotten away with it, with the ministry’s consent. He was arrested, not because he criticized the minister or practices by the ministry in an objective way, but because the minister withdrew his bodyguards.
And what did the minister do? He delved into the records of the Interior Ministry and found that there was a court ruling in favor of Okasha’s ex-wife that had not been carried out by the ministry. In other words, the ministry did not punish Okasha when he had done wrong to his wife, as that could be ignored, but it is punishing him now for lashing out at the minister because this is not to be tolerated.
Unfortunately, we have not learned anything from what happened in Egypt four years ago. Government institutions, particularly the Interior Ministry, have not changed. Nor have the political parties or the community. And the elite still favor their own interests over public interests.
No writer or media host should be punished for his political views. They have the right to oppose the January 25 revolution or think it was the greatest thing that happened in Egypt in modern times. None of them should be accused of treason or collusion.
Egypt will not advance one more step forward without maintaining a minimum level of moral and legal cohesion. Our future is in the rule of law and not in a state that takes revenge or applies the law according to its own whims. This will lead us to a situation worse that anyone could imagine.
Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm