Responding to news of the recent release of an Egyptian-American student from jail, after more than a year of arrest for protesting in Cairo with a "Freedom for all prisoners" sign, Democratic presidential nominee tweeted with an unusual threat to the Egyptian president.
24-years old Mohamed Amashah has made it home to the US safely after spending near 500 days in prison. According to the Guardian, Egypt is estimated to have about 60k political prisoners, many of whom are held without charges or trial.
Tweeting news of Amashah's release, presidential nominee Joe Biden slammed Egyptian policies "Arresting, torturing, and exiling activists" and named several well-known previously arrested activists. Biden ended his tweet with a new-of-its-kind threat to the Egyptian president, saying that being"Trump's favorite dictator; he'll no longer have blank checks."
Mohamed Amashah is finally home after 486 days in Egyptian prison for holding a protest sign. Arresting, torturing, and exiling activists like Sarah Hegazy and Mohamed Soltan or threatening their families is unacceptable. No more blank checks for Trump’s "favorite dictator." https://t.co/RtZkbGh6ik— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) July 12, 2020
Pro-Sisi commentators launched a heavy attack on the former US VP, calling him an operative for the Muslim Brotherhood, the group ousted from Egypt by Al-Sisi in 2013.
Biden as a Muslim Brotherhood operative confirmed https://t.co/LOKxBqkZv3— Respecting Women (@TheEpicDept) July 14, 2020
Please try to win your elections internally and don’t try to make yourself a hero on our behalf. Egypt doesn’t allow you or anyone to interfere in our internal affairs. We are free with our choices. Keep your internal battles internal.— Noha Fawzy (@NohaFawzy) July 13, 2020
While it was hailed by many Egyptians who oppose Al-Sisi, Biden's tweet stirred an online debate on whether his concern with human rights in Egypt is genuine or a mere elections' stunt, especially that he was Barack Obama's Vice President when Al-Sisi assumed power in what has been controversially termed "a military coup" in July 2013 and didn't seem to mind political arrests back then.
Thank you VP @JoeBiden for your continued principled stances on crucial human rights issues.— Mohamed Soltan | محمد سلطان (@soltanlife) July 12, 2020
Being on the right side of issues is what a great American leader is all about! Your voice is much appreciated. https://t.co/DqlhNp4C3q
Have U been blinded 7 years ago to know what happened N #Egypt while you and @BarackObama in charge at @WhiteHouse and asking your friends to escape?#Trump never supported any dictators but keeping the current situation on hold as you build https://t.co/8ofxwJFZA3— #الأستاذ_معاذ (@THemoaaTH) July 13, 2020
Many social media users took the chance to remind Biden of US long-standing policies towards the Middle East, supporting other regimes that violate human rights, such as Saudi Arabia and Israel, hoping that he will consider major changes towards these countries, in case he was elected as a US president next November.
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