The UN human rights chief, Zeid Raad al-Hussein, on Wednesday decried a "pervasive climate of intimidation" in Egypt ahead of presidential elections this month that he said has been marked by arrests, torture of detainees and "silencing" of independent media.
Egypt stepped up a crackdown on media outlets it deems to be publishing reports which might harm national security, as the country approaches an election where Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah al-Sisi is virtually guaranteed a second term, and the military fights to crush Daesh [the Arabic acronym for ‘ISIS/ISIL' group] terrorists in the Sinai Peninsula.
Al-Hussein, in an annual report submitted to the United Nations Human Rights Council, said: "Potential candidates have allegedly been pressured to withdraw, some through arrests.
Legislation prevents candidates and supporters from organizing rallies. Independent media have been silenced, with over 400 media and NGO websites completely blocked."
Source: News Agencies, Edited by website team