Egypt Watch

Egypt is witnessing the largest arrest campaign since al-Sisi came to power

September 27, 2019

Egypt is currently witnessing the largest campaign of arrests since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office in mid-2014, in the wake of demonstrations in Cairo and several other governorates which began last Friday.

The arrest campaign has targeted activists, academics, lawyers and journalists, apparently in anticipation of demonstrations planned by activists for today.

On Wednesday, security forces arrested Khaled Dawoud, former head of Al-Dostour (Constitution) Party.

Also arrested was Hassan Nafaa, a professor of political science at Cairo University, hours after the arrest of Hazem Hosni, former spokesman for General Sami Anan, and professor of political science at Cairo University.

The Egyptian Centre for Economic and Social Rights said that the number of arrests has reached over 2,000 people, including 58 girls and women, pointing out that the numbers are expected to increase.

The Centre pointed out that the figures do not necessarily reflect the actual number of detainees because more continue to arrive and the centre continues to receive reports of new cases.

The number of people detained following the current security crackdown has exceeded the number of arrests in any previous wave of arrests since Abdel Fattah al-Sisi took office in 2014, the largest of which was in 2016, following protests against the signing of an agreement to hand over the islands of Tiran and Sanafir to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

At the time, the Front for the Defence of Egyptian Protesters, a broad umbrella for human rights lawyers, recorded 1,277 arrests.