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Egypt tried blocking Sisi CBS interview on cooperation with Israel: Network

07 January 2019

Egypt's government doesn't want President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi's interview with "60 Minutes" to be aired, according to CBS News.

When Pelley asked whether "this cooperation with Israel was the closest ever between two enemies that once were at war", al-Sissi responded: "That is correct".

On its website, "60 Minutes" reported that shortly after el-Sisi answered questions on camera for journalist Scott Pelley, the team received a phone call from the Egyptian ambassador telling them not to broadcast the footage. Egypt has been battling an insurgency in the northern Sinai Peninsula for years.

CBS did not provide a full transcript of the interview, but it said the retired field marshal was questioned about the crackdown launched after he led the military's overthrow of the democratically elected President Mohammed Morsi in July 2013.

Israel and Egypt share a number of regional interests - including the containment of Iran and combating ISIS. "Do you have a good idea of how many political prisoners you're holding?"

"There are no political prisoners in Egypt", he said, his face shiny with sweat.

Al-Sisi since 2014 at the top of the country. "Whenever a minority is trying their extremist ideology to impose, we need to intervene", says the President in the Interview.

Toppled in 2011 after mass protests against his almost 30-year-rule, Mubarak took the witness stand in a Cairo court to testify about jailbreaks allegedly orchestrated by Morsi and other members of his Muslim Brotherhood group during the uprising. "We tried every peaceful means to disperse them". "We have a wide range of co-operation with the Israelis".

Human Rights Watch, a global watchdog on rights abuses, said Egypt now has about 60,000 people behind bars on charges that range from spreading fake news to insulting the president.

Over the course of 2018, the Egyptian army has destroyed 37 cross-border tunnels linking the blockaded Gaza Strip to Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, the army announced Thursday.

"I said there are no political prisoners in Egypt".

Human Rights Watch has said few people were armed, and that the systematic nature of the killings suggested they were part of a policy to use lethal force, making them probably crimes against humanity. CBS went on to release excerpts from the interview.

Egypt tried blocking Sisi CBS interview on cooperation with Israel: Network