CAIRO — Egypt's top auditor was fired earlier this year after alleging that corruption had cost the country billions. Hisham Geneina was charged with spreading "false news" and could be sentenced to up to a year in prison if he is convicted.
Now his daughter is facing a similar fate.
Last week, Shorouk Geneina said she was dismissed from her position as a prosecutor in Cairo’s administrative prosecution authority, a judicial body responsible for monitoring and investigating civil servants.
In statements to the ONA news agency, Shorouk Geneina said she was referred to a disciplinary committee for sharing a caricature of the minister of justice, Ahmed el-Zend, who has had a long-standing rivalry with her father.
Hisham Geneina has long been an unpopular figure within the government of President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, and 50 parliament members petitioned to have him removed before he was fired. The government has not commented on Shorouk Geneina's situation, but critics say her dismissal is just another way to punish her father.
The family’s troubles began when the former auditor gave statements to the media in late 2015 regarding the extent of corruption. At the time, he accused government officials of stealing more than $76 billion from state coffers over three years.
That prompted Sissi to form a fact-finding committee, which reported that the figures had “been greatly exaggerated.” Sissi then dismissed the auditor using powers he had granted himself via a presidential decree. Geneina appealed, saying the move against him was unconstitutional — Egypt's constitution stipulates that regulatory bodies are independent from the executive branch.
In an interview with the New York Times, Hisham Geneina said the charges against him were politically motivated and driven by powerful enemies in the government.
Shorouk Geneina has said in a statement she published on Facebook that she will take legal action against her dismissal.
Novelist and political commentator Alaa Al Aswany tweeted, "It's quite incredible that despite all the crises Egypt is facing that President al-Sissi has the time to personally sign the decree for a judge's dismissal just because she is Hesham Geneina's daughter." Even some pro-government figures say Shorouk Geneina's dismissal is a step too far.
Broadcaster Lamees el-Hadidi said on her program on the privately owned CBC channel that Shorouk Geneina “was given no reason for her dismissal and there is no reason for the sins of the fathers to be visited on the children.” She added: “This raises a lot of questions about whether the law is applied equally on everyone. Many of her colleagues post things on Facebook all the time: Will they be charged too?”