The leader of the independent teachers union, Ayman al-Bili, has been called in for interrogation by the Egyptian state, on the grounds that he has written articles critical of the government's education policies. Bili is demanding social justice and an end to treating education as a commodity.

Instead of interrogating him, he says the government should be going after those corrupt officials who have been leaking high school final exam papers, meaning that the exams had to be canceled. Bili believes this is part of a conspiracy to further privatise schools.

The situation in public education is extremely bad in Egypt. Classes are often huge and thousands of teachers are on temporary contracts. Some are not paid at all and are expected to earn money by providing extra tuition in the afternoon. Moreover textbooks are being doctored to fit in with the ideology of the Sisi government, which came to power in a military coup in 2013 and has been crushing opposition ever since.

At the beginning of this month, journalists were also interrogated – the government is clearly cracking down on all those who are in a position to expose their actions.

In an earlier interview with this website, one of the leaders of the independent teachers union said: 'after the revolution we had rights for the first time. Now there is a real attack on the independent trade union movement. The Sisi government chose some leaders of the movement to sit in government – for instance the chair of the independent union federation is now a minister. As a result many workers have lost trust in the leaderships. Teachers' unions must have the right to organise freely, they must stop threatening the ISTT.'

So far Ayman al-Bili has not answered calls to interrogation – he deserves the support of teachers all over the world.