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At least 70 people detained in Egypt before hosting COP27

At least 70 people detained in Egypt before hosting COP27

CAIRO, Oct. 31 (DPA/EP) –

Some 70 people have been arrested in Egypt on the eve of the UN Climate Change conference, COP27, security sources told dpa on Sunday.

The sources point out that the security forces have demanded identity documents from pedestrians in the city on several occasions and have searched their mobile phones arbitrarily.

Human rights lawyer Mohamed Ramadan told the ‘Mada Masr’ news portal that “hundreds” of people had been arbitrarily arrested in the coastal city of Alexandria. The context is marked by the calls for protests in the country on November 11.

The COP conference will kick off on November 6 in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh. Representatives from around 200 countries will spend two weeks there discussing how to stop global warming.

Protests by climate activists, for example, are allowed in a specially designated area next to the conference center, but all other demonstrations are de facto banned in Egypt.

The calls for protests for November 11, during the celebration of the COP, have been circulating for days on social networks. One of the conveners on Twitter speaks of “the last chance to save Egypt”.

A hashtag with the words “All of us against Sisi” has also been circulating, referring to President Abdelfat√° al Sisi. Previously, there was also talk of a planned “climate revolution” on November 11.

On that day, US President Joe Biden is expected to attend the meeting. The US embassy in Cairo has also indicated that there have been calls for demonstrations.

Al Sisi came to power in 2013 after a military coup and has ruled the country with an iron fist ever since. There is no serious political opposition, freedom of speech and freedom of the press have been massively restricted ever since.

Human rights activists have repeatedly denounced serious violations by the security forces, such as torture and extrajudicial executions. The government has promised improvements, yet organizations such as Amnesty International continue to describe the human rights situation as catastrophic.

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Written by Editor TLN

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