President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi gave a speech to the nation Tuesday, in which he tackled a broad range of topics, specifically focusing on terrorism and the status of countering it.
Al-Sisi stated that countering terrorism is important for achieving security and stability, which are integral for development. He added that all state authorities are working simultaneously to counter terrorism.
The president stated that 600 terrorists were arrested during in April alone, with the arrests made within the framework of the law. This is despite there being “some demands that call on the state to be more violent within this framework”.
“There is no emergency law, so arresting people on the basis of suspicion is not legal,” human rights lawyer and head of the Arab Penal Reform Organisation Mohamed Zare’ said regarding the legal framework of the arrests based on affiliation to terrorism.
Zare’ also told Daily News Egypt there are no clear numbers for arrests as a number of authorities, such as the Ministry of Interior, the Defence Ministry, the General Prosecution, and now President Al-Sisi, release figures of arrests.
“The numbers of those arrested is much more than the capacity of prisons and detention facilities,” Zare’ added.
Three days before Al-Sisi’s speech, seventy detained Sinai residents were released from Al-Azouli military prison, after having been randomly arrested recently.
“The detained had been randomly arrested during army raids in the fight against militants,” Sinai-based activist Said Ateeq previously told Daily News Egypt.
Al-Sisi also tackled Sinai in his speech, saying that within the previous month, 150 terrorist hideouts were destroyed in North Sinai.
“The war we are involved in North Sinai doesn’t involve army personnel and policemen only, but also includes Sinai residents with their endurance…We were able to decrease the number of tunnels along the borders with the Gaza Strip by no less than 80% or 90%,” the president further added.