"We demand an end to the state of emergency and we call for the adoption of a new anti-terrorism law," said Boutros Boutros-Ghali, president of the Egyptian National Council for Human Rights, at a forum of NGOs and trade unions in Arish on Tuesday.
In response to a question about international supervision of elections, Boutros-Ghali said that Egypt needs no such measure, and that the United Nations cannot assume such a role without Egypt’s prior consent.
For his part, North Sinai Governor Mourad Mowafy told the forum: "Sinai has a tribal community that likes to resolve problems through traditional councils," adding that the government is keen on maintaining this practice.
In response to a question on frequent riots in Arish, Mowafi said: "All we had was some farmers protesting shortages in irrigation water," adding that this was a problem for the Ministry of Irrigation to resolve.
In a related development, security services on Tuesday early morning cracked down on houses and shops in El-Masoura district to the west of Rafah in search of locals accused of assaulting on-duty security personnel. They arrested 20 people, mostly youths. All shops were closed and no one was seen walking in the streets of the city.
Translated from the Arabic Edition.