UK support of Egypt's president could lead to bloodshed, whistleblower Mohamed Ali warns

19 November 2019, 19:15 | Updated: 20 November 2019, 11:44

An Egyptian whistleblower who prompted mass protests against President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has told Sky News that Britain must stop supporting him, warning it could lead to bloodshed and mass immigration to Europe.

Mohamed Ali's videos exposing high-level corruption in the Egyptian government went viral and prompted huge protests in Egyptian cities.

Thousands demonstrated calling for the end of the Sisi regime. More than 4,000 have since disappeared into Egyptian jails.

Mr Ali is an unlikely revolutionary. He has no political expertise. He was an actor then worked in construction. But because he had been a contractor to the government he claimed to have evidence of its dark secrets.

In passionate, handheld videos he mocked the Egyptian leader for lavish spending on palaces and hotels benefiting regime members.

"We will continue this mission until we remove Sisi," he told Sky News.

"We must have hope that our country can become a respectable one, which holds a status in the region. All we want is to become like countries in Europe, therefore we must continue our mission and we will not stop."

The videos, which he made in exile in Spain, caused outrage back home and led to Egyptians pouring onto the streets in September to vent their anger.

Now he says it is time to form a more organised opposition and bring Mr Sisi down.

He is hoping to join up with other opposition figures and draw up plans for Egypt once the Sisi government has been brought down.

The British government says that Mr Sisi's government has brought stability to his country and some economic improvement.

Mr Ali says that's mistaken. He says Egypt is sliding into total economic collapse and chaos. He warns that could lead to a wave of mass migration out of Egypt and into Europe.

"The nation is extremely angry. The level of poverty is rising, murder and crime is on the rise, violence increasing, so which stability has he brought to the region? Can't the British government see all that? On the contrary, it is supporting the wrong man."

He has this message for Boris Johnson: "Your interests with Abdel Fattah el-Sisi inside Egypt will fail, the situation is going to cause bloodshed and you will witness an immigration flow towards Europe not like any other in the history of Europe."

Human Rights Watch says the Sisi regime has hounded relatives of people criticising it from abroad, with detentions, house raids and travel bans. Mr Ali says he fears for his life.

Mr Sisi was an army general when the Egyptian military seized power in a violent counter-revolution that was supported by some sectors of the Egyptian population.

To seize power it carried out a series of massacres, using military snipers to kill hundreds of protesters. The dead included Sky News cameraman Mick Deane who was killed by a marksman's bullet.

It has maintained its grip on power through the detention and disappearance of tens of thousands of people arrested in protests, and a totalitarian control of the country's media.

Despite all this it continues to enjoy the support of the British government, both diplomatically and financially.