'You've starved us Sisi': Dozens arrested during Egypt protest against falling living conditions

'You've starved us Sisi': Dozens arrested during Egypt protest against falling living conditions
The protesters chanted against Sisi and the falling living conditions faced by millions of Egyptians in the face of soaring inflation.
2 min read
16 March, 2024
Protests held directly against Sisi are relatively rare these days in Egypt [Getty]

The Egyptian Network for Human Rights (ENHR) announced on Saturday that dozens of protesters were arrested on Friday by Egyptian security forces for demonstrating against the effects of inflation and poor living conditions in the country.

The protests occurred in the Dekheila suburb of Alexandria, near the upscale seaside resort of Agami.

Activists circulated a video on social media showing a sizeable crowd protesting against the latest price hikes imposed by President Abdel Fattah El Sisi's government as it battles to keep up with soaring inflation.

The protests began after Friday prayers, with demonstrators carrying banners with anti-government slogans such as “You've starved us, Sisi”.

They marched on crowded streets, chanting loudly against the Egyptian president, who assumed power following a 2013 military coup.

The ENHR said that the security forces violently dispersed the anti-Sisi demonstration, transferring the detained protesters to the headquarters of the National Security Agency in Alexandria for interrogation.

Those arrested are likely to either be released or referred to the State Security Prosecution, which has been criticised by Egyptian and global human rights groups for prosecuting people based on flawed or fabricated evidence and confessions obtained by torture.

The protests in Dekheila come after Mohamed El-Salhemy, a 45-year-old police officer, climbed a billboard in the Sidi Gaber area of Alexandria, where he shouted to stunned onlookers “El-Sisi is a traitor and an agent... I am not afraid of you, El-Sisi... Down with El-Sisi... Down with every traitor and agent.”

After being brought down by a fire truck and severely beaten by his colleagues, El-Salhemy appeared before the State Security Prosecution and was detained for 15 days pending investigations on charges of “insulting the President of the Republic”.

The recent protests also coincide with the mysterious death on Friday of a political prisoner being held at the Public Prison in Al-Minya south of Cairo.

Hassan Hussein Hamida, aged 60, had been detained several times since 2014 for writing social media posts critical of Sisi’s regime. No reason was given by Egyptian authorities for his death.

Hamida is one of nine political prisoners who have died in the custody of the Egyptian security forces since the beginning of this year.