This is the second Sirli affair, the scandal within a scandal. Two years after the revelation by the investigative site Disclosed abuses of the Franco-Egyptian anti-terrorist collaboration, suspected of having led to the death of numerous civilians, the search and police custody inflicted on the journalist at the origin of this scoop, Ariane Lavrilleux, between Tuesday 19 and Wednesday 20 September, aroused the indignation of the profession, NGOs defending press freedom and part of the opposition. In an open letter published Thursday September 21, around forty journalists’ companies, including that of the Worlddenounced a “very serious situation” and an “unprecedented attack against the protection of the secrecy of sources”.
But within the government, the mention of the name Ariane Lavrilleux provokes a leaden silence or feigned astonishment. Questioned by thee Worlde during a press lunch in Matignon, Thursday September 21, the Prime Minister, Elisabeth Borne, assured that she did not have the elements to express herself on this affair. “It’s something to do with the Egyptians, right? », asks a Matignon advisor who promises to respond to our requests. No additional response will follow.
The day before, the government spokesperson, Olivier Véran, was unable to hide his embarrassment on this issue, during the weekly press conference following the council of ministers. Assuring you don’t want “evade things”he refused to speak in “an institutional place” inviting you to contact him later to talk about “freedom of the press in our country, that of human rights”. Questioned outside this framework, the spokesperson did not wish to respond to our requests, any more than the Ministry of the Armed Forces, Justice or the Interior. “As guarantor of the independence of justice, the president [de la République] cannot comment on a current legal case which aims to determine whether or not the law has been respected, also dodges the Elysée.
Titled “ The Memos of Terror », published on November 21, 2021, and based on secret defense documents whose authenticity has never been contested, the investigation Disclosed reveals how a French military intelligence mission, supposed to help Cairo prevent jihadist infiltrations into the Egyptian-Libyan desert, was diverted by the Cairo regime for the purposes of internal repression. The information collected by the French services surveillance plane placed at the service of the Egyptian army would have led to the bombing of ordinary networks of arms, drug and migrant traffickers. Despite several alarming memos, including Disclosed provides the copy, Paris has maintained its collaboration with the regime of President Abdel Fattah Al-Sissi.
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