TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - The London-based international human rights group said Wednesday that authorities had arrested at least 111 people since December 2017 for criticizing general-turned-president Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and Egypt's human rights situation, adding that the crackdown on freedom of expression under the rule of Sisi had reached "alarming" and "unprecedented" levels.
"It is currently more dangerous to criticize the government in Egypt than at any time in the country's recent history," Amnesty's North Africa Campaigns Director Najia Bounaim said in a statement, adding that Egyptians were “treated as criminals simply for peacefully expressing their opinions."
Bounaim said security services had ruthlessly clamped down on independent political, social and cultural spaces, stressing that measures by Sisi's government were more extreme than anything seen in the country during the past 30 decades.
These measures, she said, "have turned Egypt into an open-air prison for critics."
"President el-Sisi's administration is punishing peaceful opposition and political activists with spurious counter-terrorism legislation and other vague laws that define any dissent as a criminal act," Bounaim added.
Egypt has intensified a crackdown on dissent in the past years since the ouster of the country’s first democratically-elected president Mohamed Morsi in July 2013.
Since coming to power in June 2014, Sisi’s rule has also been marked by efforts to crack down on all forms of dissent, with authorities justifying the move targeting activists and critics as being directed at saboteurs trying to undermine the state.
Thousands of people have been jailed since 2013 while death sentences have been handed down to hundreds of Sisi’s political opponents on different charges, including terror ones.
The government has also clamped down on journalists, detaining dozens who face an array of charges.
Source: Press TV