Egyptian celebs join call for Sisi to run for second term

Updated 17 October 2017
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Egyptian celebs join call for Sisi to run for second term

CAIRO: A new petition calling for Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi to run for a second term in next year’s election has attracted the support of a number of Egyptian celebrities. El-Sisi’s current term ends in June 2018.

Movie stars, footballers, and prominent media personalities have added their voices to the “Alashan Tebneeha” (So You Can Build It) campaign recently launched by a group of parliamentarians.

From movie star Hani Salama and controversial actress Ghada Abdel Razek, to veteran actors including Hussein Fahmy and Hassan Yousef, social media has been filled with pictures of celebs posing with the form they’ve signed.

But the organizers of the campaign stress that it is attracting Egyptians from all walks of life, and they reportedly have plans to tour Egyptian governorates to encourage more citizens to participate.

Art critic Nader Adly told Arab News that the celebrity endorsements “could boost public support for the initiative supporting El-Sisi’s re-election.”

“Artists in Egypt have been always affiliated with those in power, since the days of King Farouk,” Adly said. “The majority of our artists are supportive of our rulers and have no opposing views to our leadership. They would voice opposition in their artwork but not in (public statements).”

The 62-year-old El-Sisi is widely expected to run for a second term, although he has — on several occasions — declined to comment on his plans. He has, however, previously urged Egyptians in televised comments to come out and vote in large numbers in next year's election.


Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

A Turkish soldier is seen in an armoured personnel carrier at a check point near the Turkish-Syrian border in Kilis province, Turkey. (REUTERS)
Updated 20 July 2018
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Turkish court rejects Australia’s request to extradite Daesh recruiter

  • Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia
  • Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained

SYDNEY: A Turkish court rejected an Australian request to extradite a citizen it believes is a top recruiter for the Daesh group, Australia’s foreign minister said on Friday, in a setback for Canberra’s efforts to prosecute him at home.
Melbourne-born Neil Prakash has been linked to several Australia-based attack plans and has appeared in Daesh videos and magazines. Australia has alleged that he actively recruited Australian men, women and children and encouraged acts of militancy.
“We are disappointed that the Kilis Criminal Court in Turkey has rejected the request to extradite Neil Prakash to Australia,” Foreign Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement.
“We will continue to engage with Turkish authorities as they consider whether to appeal the extradition decision,” she said.
Australia had been pressing Turkey to extradite Prakash since he was first detained there nearly two years ago.
Australia’s Daily Telegraph newspaper reported from Kilis that Prakash was initially ordered to be freed but was later charged under Turkish law with being a Daesh member.
A spokesman at Turkey’s foreign ministry in Istanbul had no immediate comment and the Turkish embassy in Australia did not respond immediately to a request for comment.
Ties between Turkey and its allies fighting Daesh, particularly the United States, have been frayed by Washington’s support for the Syrian Kurdish YPG militia, which Ankara regards as a militant group.
Canberra announced financial sanctions against Prakash in 2015, including anyone giving him financial assistance, with punishment of up to 10 years in jail.
The Australian government wrongly reported in 2016, based on US intelligence, that Prakash had been killed in an air strike in Mosul, Iraq. It later confirmed that Prakash was detained in Turkey.
Australia raised its national terror threat level to “high” for the first time in 2015, citing the likelihood of attacks by Australians radicalized in Iraq or Syria.
A staunch ally of the United States and its actions against Daesh in Syria and Iraq, Australia believes more than 100 of its citizens were fighting in the region.