Egyptian Journalist and television host, Khairy Ramadan – Facebook
CAIRO- 4 March 2018: Cairo Attorney General’s office decided to have Egyptian TV host Khairy Ramadan remanded in custody for 4 days pending investigations into the latter’s alleged insults against police forces in Egypt.
Ramadan seems to be struggling through a hard wave of rage from police officers, after he claimed that one of the officers' wives tried to contact him in complaints from difficult economic life conditions.
“It’s not just us. The entire Interior Ministry is angry about what happened. Ramadan [albeit not on purpose] showed police officers’ families as beggars in need of money to get their children into good private schools. Maybe he had a noble message, but he used the wrong way to discuss it,” Rasha Kamel, head of the Police Officers’ wives Association told TV host Basma Wahba on air on February 28.
Kamel argued that Ramadan could talk about police officers’ salaries, but not through the way he did during the show aired on February 18.
Several angry police officers called in during the show to express their resentment towards Khairy’s statements. They accused him of psychologically harming them, their children and their families, as well as destroying officers’ image in society. “It was a kind of cold war, in which he didn’t use violence, but still harmed us,” one officer said.
Wahba defended her colleague, affirming that “he would never intend to attack police officers or their wives and families on purpose.” She assured the audience that the incident was a result of “misinterpretation.”
What did Khairy Ramadan say?
Ramadan, who was celebrating launching his new pro-government talk show named ‘Misr al Naharda’ (Egypt Today) through Egypt's state news television building, Maspero, on February 18 with his co-host Rasha Nabil, told the story of a woman who had sent him a message, complaining about their difficult economic life conditions. According to his statements, the message was: “I am the wife of a police officer, and my life is [being] ruined.”
“This is not just a one-officer problem, but it’s a general issue all police officers struggle with,” Ramadan said. He added that after reading the letter, he asked to meet her, which happened later.
During their meeting, the anonymous wife told Ramadan details about her social life conditions, which other officers felt embarrassed about her revealing them. “She took a lot of time to start talking to me, but later she said that they had to move their two children a private school to a public one because of the high expenses,” Ramadan said.
He wondered about the reason that may push a police officer’s wife to speak out and cry in frustration of financial problems. “She told me that her husband asked to be relocated to a remote area to receive a raise over his fixed salary,” Ramadan added during the show.
Additionally, Ramadan aired the details of the officer’s salary, explaining how much exactly he gets paid, which was highly criticized by the other officer’s wives. “There is no money that could be enough in return of serving and protecting this country. Being an officer is not just a job to be paid for; it’s a noble message an officer could willingly choose to die for,” another officer’s wife said during Wahba’s show.
Under an official complaint issued by the Legal Affairs Department affiliated with the Interior Ministry, Ramadan was summoned and investigated in accusations of insulting police officers and spreading lies. On the evening of Saturday March 3, he was ordered to be detained for 24 pending investigations.
Wahba, however, was not the only TV host to defend her colleague. On March 3, host Amr Adib defended Ramadan describing him as a “patriotic” host. He added that Ramadan had long supported the ministry and police officers. He affirmed that Ramadan was never hostile towards the Interior Ministry or any other government body.
“These are not our enemies, not Ramadan or any other journalist,” Adib said. He called the interior minister to reach a settlement with the TV host and bring an amiable end to the situation. “We will support you in every way, but these kinds of issues are a waste of time and effort. These are battles the country could easily avoid,” Adib concluded.