CAIRO: Families of citizens arrested in illegal immigration attempts protested Sunday outside the Cabinet headquarters in Cairo as they lost contact with their relatives, Youm7 reported.
Hundreds of Egyptians were arrested over the past few months while attempting to illegally travel to Libya by land and others to Europe by sea.
The families protested in the same area Wednesday and Thursday, planning to hold a sit-in, but the authorities provided them with hotel rooms nearby at a reduced price because the “security situation cannot bear a sit-in,” according to Youm7.
Much like the majority of the migrants, the families come from governorates in Upper Egypt and the Delta. The parents, wives and siblings of the missing migrants held pictures of them and banners that read “where are you sons Sisi,” referring to President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, and “what’s the fate of my brothers.”
A total of 449 people, including non-Egyptians, were arrested in December in illegal immigration attempts, according to a Thursday statement by military spokesperson Mohamed Samir.
The majority of the migrants were arrested in Egypt’s Western Desert. In November, 610 people were arrested in illegal immigrations attempts, while 3,576 and 2,215 were arrested in October and September, respectively.
Earlier in December, Immigration Minister Nabila Makram met with government and NGO officials in Minya, Upper Egypt, as it is the origin of most Egyptians seeking illegal immigration.