Egypt's president warns against 'deceitful' calls to protest

Egypt's president warns against 'deceitful' calls to protest
Egypt's President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, right, meets with Secretary-General Antonio Guterres during the 74th session of the U.N. General Assembly, at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 25, 2019. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

CAIRO (AP) — Egypt’s president has warned against “deceitful” attempts to discredit his rule amid fresh calls for anti-government protests.

Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi spoke Friday morning after returning to Cairo from New York, where he’d been attending the U.N. General Assembly.

Last Friday, rare protests calling for el-Sissi to step down erupted in Cairo and several provinces. Those were sparked by corruption allegations levelled against the president and the military by a self-exiled Egyptian businessman.

Lawyers say the security forces have retaliated with a wave of over 2,000 arrests, including political activists and journalists. Egypt’s general prosecutor claims his office has questioned no more than 1,000 people.

Referring to corruption allegations, el-Sissi says: “It is all based on lies, distortion and fabrication. You should be aware of that.”