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Sisi Reassures Egyptians as Calls for Protests Fail

Sisi Reassures Egyptians as Calls for Protests Fail

Saturday, 28 September, 2019 - 06:15
Supporters of Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi during a rally in Cairo, Egypt, 27 September 2019. EPA/Mohamed Hossam

Calls for protests against the Egyptian authorities were not heeded on Friday as thousands staged a large gathering in the capital, Cairo, in a show of support to President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi.

Images broadcast on state TV showed the crowd chanting pro-Sisi songs and waving Egyptian flags and the president’s posters.

On Friday, Sisi said he would ask for a mandate, “just like the one in 2013, and that as a message to the whole world, millions will take to the streets."

In his first comments after arriving home from New York, Sisi insisted that there was no cause for alarm.

"There are no reasons for concern. Egypt is a strong country thanks to Egyptians," he told reporters.

Last week, limited protests erupted in Egypt in response to Egyptian businessman Mohamed Aly's videos making wrong accusations against Sisi and the military.

In a fresh video posted on Friday, Aly called on Egyptians to participate in street demonstrations.

Against Aly’s calls, the president’s backers launched a campaign to support him on social media, using hashtags #longliveSisi and #theywantchaos.

In Cairo's Nasr City, thousands of people turned out in support of Sisi.

In a statement released on Thursday night, General Prosecutor Hamada al-Sawi said the prosecution had questioned "no more than 1,000 people" in relation to small-scale protests that broke out against Sisi.

He noted that the defendants had been interrogated in the presence of a lawyer.

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