Sisi: Criticising army is 'high treason'

Sisi: Criticising army is 'high treason'
The Egyptian president's comments arrived as the renewed campaign against Islamic State group militants in the Sinai entered its fourth week.
2 min read
01 March, 2018
Sisi's comments come weeks before presidential elections are due [Getty]
President Abdel Fattal al-Sisi said on Thursday that he considered any "defamation" of Egyptian security forces to be "high treason".

Sisi's warning came as security forces entered the fourth week of a campaign in the Sinai to fight militants allied with the Islamic State group. Tens of thousands of troops have been deployed, backed by fighter jets and navy vessels.

"No one defames the army and police while I am here," Sisi said, during a speech in the Mediterranean coastal town of Alamein, ahead of presidential elections.

"Don't allow anyone to defame them. If anyone defames them, he is defaming all Egyptians. It's no longer a question of freedom of speech," he added.

Presidential elections are scheduled for 26-28 March, a contest in which Sisi faces no real challengers after sidelining or arresting at least five significant candidates.

Just this week, Egypt's chief prosecutor called on his staff to continue monitoring social media and take action against "forces of evil".


A BBC report profiling Egyptians jailed during the past five years has dominated headlines in Egypt this week.

The State Information Services, which accredits foreign outlets, called on Egyptians to boycott the British broadcaster until a former apology was issued.

Pro-government commentators have also blasted the report as Muslim Brotherhood propaganda - the group is outlawed in Egypt and Islamist former President Mohammed Morsi, who had strong links to the group, was deposed in a 2013 coup led by Sisi.

Although activists frequently criticise police abuses, Egypt's state media and private outlets typically refrain from criticising the military or police institutions.

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