MADRID: The latest statements of the Egyptian presenter
Riham Said, which targeted obesity patients, were not the first examples of hate speech in the Egyptian media.
Hate speech has previously been disseminated in the
Egyptian media by well-known journalists without taking any legal action against them, including Riham Said.
The presenter, Riham Said, appeared in her program
“Sabaya”, which is broadcasted on the Egyptian channel “Al-Hayat”, and said that obese people are a burden on their
families and on the state.
“Obese people are deformed, they are a burden on their families and on the state. Obese women have lost their femininity, their bodies sweat a lot, and their sweat is poisonous. They can’t even walk because they suffer from joint pain”, Said said. These statements were widely condemned by the Arab and Egyptian public.
The management of “Al-Hayat” network announced the
suspension of “Sabaya” program, presented by Riham Said, until the end of the Supreme Media Council investigations with her.
The dissemination of hate speech in the Egyptian media is not
new, it is repeated in many programs but in different forms. Riham Said is famous for the type of programs that provoke
the public and violate the rights of citizens and incitement.
Said, A history of hate speech in the Egyptian Media
Here we monitor the most prominent hate speech cases that the Egyptian presenter has fabricated:
• 2015 – Riham Said published photos and clips of a girl, later known as “The Mall Girl,” who was harassed inside a mall in Egypt. These clips were published without personal permission from the girl. The Egyptian media then released statements that amounted to accuse Said of “defamation” of the girl.
• 2015 – Riham Said broadcasted an episode inside a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon. While she was distributing aids, Said stated that Syrian refugees have lost their “customs and morals” and have become “uncivilised”.
Most of the people viewed this episode as humiliating and hurtful to the Syrian refugees in need.
• 2018 – Said was imprisoned after a case she talked about called the ‘Kidnapping of Two Children’. It then revealed that she was behind the abduction of the two children and everything was supposed to end when the police arrives and arrest the gang.
The whole scene was aired during the program. This led Al-Nahar channel to cancel her program ” Sabaya Al-Khair”.
In the light of these incidents and the history of the Egyptian presenter, Riham Said should have been prevented from practising any job related to the press and media.
The latest statements made by Said involve defamation of others that may amount to incitement to hatred and according to Article 53 of the Egyptian Constitution: “discrimination and incitement to hatred is a punishable offence”.
In addition to Article 20 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights which states that: “Any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence shall be prohibited by law.”
In this context, Skyline International calls on the Egyptian authorities to stop Riham Said from work due to repeated hate speech statements, and to punish her as she violates professional journalistic principles and does not rise to the lowest humanitarian principles.
Skyline International states that “Instead of prosecuting journalists for their political views, the Egyptian authorities should pay attention to those who seek to break up the social fabric in Egypt, as well as stopping those who incite and offend citizens”.