AP NEWS

Lawyers: Egypt releases 200 people swept up in crackdown

November 26, 2019 GMT

CAIRO (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 el-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 el-Sissi came to power in 2013, following the ouster of an elected but divisive Islamist president. El-Sissi, a general-turned-president, has overseen a sweeping crackdown on dissent, rolling back freedoms and silencing critics.