Egypt: Sisi’s third presidential term commences with the suppression of citizens’ right to peacefully demonstrate for Palestine

The undersigned human rights organizations denounce the Egyptian authorities’ arrest of over a dozen Egyptians who peacefully protested in support of Gaza at the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate on 3 April. The organizations further denounce the filing of malicious and baseless charges against the demonstrators. The arrests come only one day after President Abdelfattah al-Sisi was sworn in for a third term indicating the intent to continue transgressing the rule of law, the constitution, and the protection of citizens’ rights. The arrests also come two weeks after the European Union pledged €7.4 billion to the Egyptian government in the context of a comprehensive strategic partnership. 

The organizations demand the immediate and unconditional release of all protestors currently detained and an end to the current security campaign. The Egyptian authorities are called on to respect the right of citizens to demonstrate peacefully and show due support and solidarity with the Palestinian people.

Early on Thursday, 4 April, security forces raided the homes of at least ten persons who had participated in a protest in front of the Egyptian Journalists Syndicate in solidarity with Gaza. The Journalists for Palestine group called for the protest, and other political parties and movements participated in it. Protestors denounced Israel’s siege and called on the Egyptian authorities to bring humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip. Among those arrested was Mohamed Awad, a member of the Youth Movement for Justice and Freedom, who condemned Ibrahim al-Arjani, a Sinai businessman close to the authorities. His company (Hala) has received copious amounts of money in exchange for facilitating the exit and entry of people to and from the Gaza Strip across the Egyptian border, according to journalists’ reports.

According to information gathered by the undersigned organizations on the protest, security forces arrested several people and searched them in the vicinity of the Journalists Syndicate after the protest, before releasing them. Several hours later, security forces raided the homes of most of them, arresting and detaining them at the National Security headquarters in Abbasiya, in preparation for presenting them to the State Security Prosecution. Meanwhile, officers of the National Security assaulted detainees, and sexually harassed them inside the National Security headquarters, according to one of the detainees’ lawyers. 

On Thursday morning, 4 April, at least ten demonstrators appeared before the State Security Prosecution for investigation in connection with Case no. 1277 of 2024, Supreme State Security. The prosecution charged the demonstrators with participating in a terrorist group, and publishing and broadcasting false news, and ordered them detained for 15 days pending investigation. The prosecution further interrogated those arrested about the names of the protest’s organizers and participants. The prosecution further asked them whether the protest included chants hostile to the Egyptian state or was limited to chants in support of Gaza.

On Thursday night,, the security services continued arresting those who took part in the protest, detaining political activist Ahmed Mostafa Shaheen from his workplace and confiscating surveillance cameras around the area of his arrest, in addition to arresting political activist Nour Adel Hassenein, who was beaten inside the National Security headquarters. Activists Mohamed Hassan Abdelsamee Imam and Ahmed Mahmoud Khalifa were also arrested. They appeared Saturday morning before the State Security Prosecution and faced the same charges in connection with the same case. The Prosecution ordered their detention for 15 days pending investigations. Authorities also arrested three other individuals who participated in the demonstration, but questioned them under Case no. 2124 of 2023, in connection with signing official endorsements to establish the Hope Current political party. The Prosecution charged them with joining a terrorist group, misusing social media, and  publishing false news, and ordered their detention for 15 days pending investigation.  

The Egyptian authorities have a record of targeting pro-Palestine demonstrations. Since October 2023, numerous demonstrations have taken place in Cairo, Alexandria, and other governorates. Protesters have been arrested and threatened by security forces, and some of them charged with joining a terrorist group and committing terrorist acts, or charged with assembling and the destruction of property. At least 82 people have been arrested from demonstrations in Cairo and Alexandria, including 67 people who remain in pretrial detention, according to the Egyptian Commission for Rights and Freedoms.

We, the undersigned, unequivocally condemn the Egyptian government’s security practices and its continued suppression of citizens’ freedom to peacefully protest and express opinions. The ongoing arrest campaign coincides with the two-year anniversary of the call for a national dialogue with opposition political movements, and the activation of the Presidential Pardon Committee to review cases of arbitrary detention and prisoners of conscience. Instead of genuinely implementing these initiatives, the Egyptian authorities continue to arrest and throw more citizens and peaceful political dissidents into prisons, denying them their constitutional right to freedom of expression, demonstration and peaceful assembly.


  • Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies 
  • Committee for Justice
  • The Egyptian Front for Human Rights
  • The Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights
  • Egypt Wide for Human Rights
  • Egyptian Human Rights Forum
  • El Nadeem Center
  • Refugees Platform in Egypt 
  • Sinai Foundation for Human Rights
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