Egypt going to extreme lengths to quash dissent

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

Meanwhile in each of the government has taken more than two thousand people into custody after recent protests their industry international calls it the biggest crackdown yet under the Egyptian president the BBC selling appeal joins us from Cairo hi Sally hello how are you doing. tell us more about these mass arrests in each of two thousand why have all of these people some of them children as I understand it been rounded up that's the big question and I don't think anyone can give a clear cut answer to that but it only goes back to September the twentieth when a hundreds of protesters took to the streets in Cairo in Buffy's square the birth place of the twenty eleven revolution and in other parts of the country they were calling on presidency seat to step down and the also trumpet again as the military rule old together and this my own means was unprecedented since president CC came to power in twenty fourteen no professor could ever set foot in Buffy square the government has severely restricted the anti regime protests so that was a day to remember and I was there and I've heard the people chomping and they were really angry they they called on the president to leave power and the government seemed to respond with a very heavy crackdown because in the days to follow hundreds of people have been arrested according to human rights lawyers was we've been speaking to nearly two thousand but some of them have been recently released we don't have the exact number yet but we know that a large number of them have already been released and we're talking about journalists activists politicians even lawyers who are representing detainees well during their work alright you mentioned people taking to the streets for the first time since the new regime has taken place and and why they're doing it there was something a building contractor who spoke out about what he thought was I really corruption can you tell us a little bit more about him and and spark of the protests yes this is true he he was the trigger and he is a building contractor who flew to Spain recently and he's living in a self imposed exile he published a number of videos on social media that went absolutely viral in Egypt some some people say his name is Muhammad Ali and some people here in Egypt are even saying that he has become a replacement for Netflix because everybody's watching him and he said that he's been working with the army in construction projects for nearly fifteen years and he uncovered some details about the mega construction projects kind about by the government and he said that the president sees himself and top army generals waste millions of Egyptian pounds on building lavish presidential palaces that the country does not need as well as mega construction projects that won't benefit normal Egyptians and this comes at a time when many people here are living from hand to mouth the government has imposed also austerity measures that isn't that are hitting a lot of Egyptians and according to the district's released by the government recently nearly one third of the Egyptian of Egypt's population are living below the poverty line so when Muhammad Ali started talking about the details of the construction projects this has enraged a lot of Egyptians actually and perhaps this is what really push them to take to the streets flooded small just Mohammed Ali himself it's the diet living conditions they have been going through in recent years. have any of the protesters been charged with any crimes I've been talking to some families of those who are being interrogated now and they have been reprimanded in custody for nearly fifteen days as some of the charges I remember them a sister of one of those behind bars told me that there are there is a cliche list off charges that includes protesting without permission spreading false news belonging to a terrorist group these are the main charges and one of the most interesting things that I've heard from lawyers that security forces they they arrested even passers by people who do not with it and take part in them in the protests we just happened to be there for some reason or another and the end of the arrests continued in the days to follow so it wasn't just on the twentieth of September but the old also on the days that followed and this is why many lawyers are calling them random arrests that have nothing to do with the protests but they just want to intimidate the normal Egyptians that's B. B. C. Celine Abeles speaking with us from Cairo thank

Coming up next