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Egypt main opposition group differs on view of national dialogue

Large number of Egyptians and Turkish civil society groups attend a torchlight march in Istanbul to draw attention to unlawful detentions by the Egyptian regime after a night prayer at Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on 10 December, 2019 [İslam Yakut/Anadolu Agency]
Large number of Egyptians and Turkish civil society groups attend a torchlight march in Istanbul to draw attention to unlawful detentions by the Egyptian regime after a night prayer at Fatih mosque in Istanbul, Turkey on 10 December, 2019 [İslam Yakut/Anadolu Agency]

Members of the Egyptian Civil Democratic Movement, the largest opposition group in the country, are experiencing major internal differences over plans to participate in the national dialogue initiative proposed by President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi about three months ago, Arabi21 news site reported.

The site quoted unnamed sources within the movement as saying that "there are two trends within the movement; the first sees the need to participate in the national dialogue sessions, which have not started yet, try to obtain any gains – even if they are very limited."

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According to the sources, the second trend believes in "the necessity of boycotting, or at least suspending participation in the national dialogue sessions, until the Egyptian authority responds to some of the demands previously raised by the movement, to prove its goodwill and seriousness in making this dialogue a success."

The sources expressed "disappointment" in the regime's handling of this step, especially its refusal to release a significant number of detainees and prisoners of conscience as a necessary start before the national dialogue.

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The civil movement has recently published a list that includes the names of 1,074 detainees, including prominent prisoners of conscience and called on the Egyptian regime to release them.

However, the Egyptian authorities have ignored the list and only released a small number of prisoners.

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