Egypt Watch

Al-Sisi: Security in Egypt should not come at the expense of freedom

Egyptian General Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi said that “security should not come at the expense of freedom, even in a country that lives in difficult circumstances like Egypt.” Al-Sisi has denied imprisoning anyone in Egypt because of their political views. “Criticism is allowed for everyone, but it should be constructive criticism and not incitement,” Al-Sisi said in an interview with the German newspaper Die Welt. He stressed that “stability is essential, especially in a country like Egypt, which has a population of 100 million and youth constitutes more than 60 per cent of it.” He added, “We want a constitutional state, but the incitement to the coup is dangerous and unacceptable.” He continued, “Security should not come at the expense of freedom, even in a country suffering from difficult situations like ours.” “Your country has come a long way and is now among the richest countries in the world … Egypt is far from that.”

He continued, “At least one million young men and women in Egypt enter the labour market every year, so where do these jobs come from? We cannot create these jobs unless the security situation stabilises. Otherwise, we will spread chaos, as is the case in other countries in the region.”

Al-Sisi’s statements collide with estimates by international and local human rights organisations that there are more than 60,000 political prisoners in the country. Among those arrested are journalists and political activists.