Cairo inaugurated its long-delayed “national dialogue” on May 3, promising to give a platform to opposition voices that have been largely silenced since President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office in 2014.
The launch coincided with World Press Freedom Day and that same morning authorities arrested journalist Hassan el-Kabbany.
He was released later the same day, with dialogue coordinator Diaa Rashwan saying the detention was an unfortunate case of “mistaken identity”.
The public should “distinguish between isolated cases and broader phenomena” such as the opening of space for free expression, Rashwan said.
But the same week, police arrested 16 relatives and supporters of Ahmed al-Tantawi, after the former opposition lawmaker announced he would run in next year’s presidential
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