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Al-Sisi urged to release prisoners and form expert committee during coronavirus crisis

Former presidential candidate and journalist Hamdeen Sabahi attends a protest against the US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in front of headquarters of the journalists' union in Cairo, Egypt on December 7, 2017 [Mohamed el Raai / Anadolu Agency]
Former presidential candidate and journalist Hamdeen Sabahi attends a protest against the US President Donald Trump’s recognition of Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, in front of headquarters of the journalists' union in Cairo, Egypt on December 7, 2017 [Mohamed el Raai / Anadolu Agency]

A former presidential candidate in Egypt has called on President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi to release detainees and prisoners of conscience and form a committee of experts to implement measures to protect citizens and the economy during the coronavirus crisis.

“This is a call from the heart and mind of an Egyptian citizen to the President of the Republic in light of the ordeal surrounding the country and the world,” said Hamdeen Sabahi. “It threatens the most serious consequences, but is likely to arouse the noblest of virtues.”

He pointed out that all human beings are paying a heavy price from which everyone must learn that nobody can survive on their own. “Human solidarity among all peoples and national unity are essential. With this pandemic, it is not optional, it is imperative.”

Indeed, said Sabahi, this should be the norm in society agreed and followed by the government, opposition groups and all citizens, including the President. “We need an honest review of what is happening. A review that prioritises self-criticism over criticism of others, and aims to achieve unity and solidarity among all Egyptians with respect to their natural diversity; end discrimination; and assert equality.” Injustice and hatred, he pointed out, threaten all of this.

“The best climate for justice is when Egypt embraces all of its citizens apart from those who spill Egyptian blood through terrorism. Egypt must respects its citizens’ opinions, right or wrong, without bans and repression.”

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