Egypt Releases 200 People Swept Up in Crackdown, Lawyers Say

Rights groups said security forces detained over 3,000 people, including journalists, activists and foreigners, following small but rare protests against President Sissi

Protesters chant slogans against the regime in Cairo, Egypt, September 21, 2019.
Nariman El-Mofty,AP

Egyptian rights lawyers say authorities have released over 200 people detained amid a monthslong government crackdown on dissent.

Local rights groups have said security forces detained over 3,000 people since September, including journalists, activists and foreigners. The crackdown followed small but rare protests against President Abdel-Fattah al-Sissi.

Lawyer Khaled el-Masry said 214 detainees were released Tuesday, pending an investigation into charges they organized or participated in illegal public demonstrations.

Although hundreds have been released, el-Masry estimates some 1,500 Egyptians remain in detention because of the clampdown.

Street protests have been banned in Egypt since shortly after Sissi came to power in 2013, following the ouster of an elected but divisive Islamist president. Sissi, a general-turned-president, has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent, rolling back freedoms and silencing critics.